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Market News

 June 11, 2009
Oil rises to $72 as IEA raises demand forecast

 US crude reserves fell by 4.4m barrels, far outstripping forecasts and showing that demand may finally be catching up with the supply to developed countries

The recession has caused demand for oil to fall by 3pc this year but the new estimates show that consumption may be picking up again.

US crude oil reserves have also fallen significantly, suggesting that industry, airlines and drivers may have increased their fuel usage. Light sweet crude for July delivery rose by 67 cents to more than $72, while Brent North Sea crude for July delivery was up by 43 cents to $71.23. Oil was last at this levels in October, before the it fell to just $34 a barrel two months later.

The IEA's monthly report on oil reserves and consumption said that the world was currently consuming 83.2m barrels per day -- a slight rise on May when daily demand was 83.18m barrels.

Although demand is still 2.5m barrels below last year's levels, the figures are an indication that the slump in industrial productiviion may have begun to flatten.

The IEA, which monitors oil for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said demand was up slightly in developed countries, where consumption is down 5pc on last year.

US crude reserves fell by 4.4m barrels, far outstripping forecasts and showing that demand may finally be catching up with the supply to developed countries.

The buoyant oil price comes as Alexei Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, the Russian state energy company, warned that prices would rise far above last July's record high of $140 per barrel to as much as $250 a barrel within a few years unless there is more investment in exploration.