April 12, 2012 / 10:39 AM / 6 years ago

OPEC leaves 2012 oil demand steady, pumps more

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC left its forecast for world oil demand growth in 2012 unchanged for a second month, saying there were signs that a slowdown in global economic activity is easing.

The word oil is pictured on an oil bank at a recycling yard in London March 2, 2011. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

In a monthly report on Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said world oil demand would rise by 860,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012, steady from the previous assessment.

OPEC also reported higher supply from its members as Libya’s oil industry recovers, with production rising to 31.31 million bpd in March, 1.31 million bpd above target levels according to secondary sources, despite lower Iranian production.

The group, in a bid to be more transparent, also began issuing production figures as reported to OPEC’s Vienna headquarters by member-countries.

According to those figures, Iran has told OPEC its output was steady in March at 3.76 million bpd and has risen so far in 2012, effectively denying that supply has suffered due to sanctions on Tehran.

Reporting by Alex Lawler; editing by Peg Mackey

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