Global oil demand rose by 1.5 million barrels a day in 2017, growing at 1.6 per cent, more than twice the average annual growth rate seen in a decade, International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its report.

The Paris based agency said in its Global Energy and CO2 status report 2017 that more than 60 per cent of the growth in oil demand came from Asia, with China and India being the biggest demand centres. It added that one of the main drivers of growth was the transport sector and petrochemical sector.

The report said that even though electric cars are making rapid inroads, particularly in China, which is leading in global sales of electric cars the strong growth in electric-car sales remains too small to make a dent in oil demand growth.

IEA reiterated that a slowdown in oil demand growth may be likely in the coming years. However, it adds that there are no signs of a peak in demand anytime soon.

“One of the main drivers of growth was the transport sector. Vehicle ownership levels increased in 2017, as did the share of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and other large vehicles. Another reason behind robust demand growth is oil used as a petrochemicals feedstock,” IEA said.

Natural gas demand also clocked a 3 per cent growth in 2017, significantly above the average growth of 1.5 per cent in the last five years on the back of relatively low-cost supplies as well as fuel-switching in key economies, the report said.

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