"The current demand that we see in the markets is about 94 million barrels. Our expectation by next year it’s going to be 99 million barrels - this is the way we started back in January of 2020," Nasser said, adding that he expects the demand to continue to improve especially in the second half of the year.
Nasser emphasized that the oil market is improving at present after the significant drop in demand amid the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic last year.
"We have seen strong demand in China, East Asia," he said.
The Aramco chief also pointed out that demand for oil in India is also picking up and is almost as high as during the pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.
Nasser said the rapid deployment of vaccines is a good cause for optimism for the United States as well as other Western countries. During the discussion, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth agreed with Nasser and said he too sees market improvements underway.
Wirth said the demand for diesel is just above the pre-pandemic levels, while the demand for gasoline is still "a little bit off."