Michael Galvis: Could We Have a Supply Crunch on Oil Next Year?

LONDON (Reuters) — The International Energy Agency said on Monday there could be an oil supply crunch from 2010 once global demand recovers and the impact of delayed investment crimps future supplies.

The agency, which advises 28 industrialized countries, is concerned that some oil producers are deferring projects to expand supply. It expects oil demand growth to resume next year after its first drop in a generation.

“Currently the demand is very low due to the very bad economic situation,” the IEA’s executive director, Nobuo Tanaka, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in London.

“But when the economy starts growing, recovery comes again in 2010 and then onward, we may have another serious supply crunch if capital investment is not coming,” Tanaka said.

Oil’s rally from below $20 in 2002 to a record high near $150 last year was fueled in part by growing demand from China and other emerging economies which strained supplies.

The Paris-based IEA has often warned that investment in new supply is too low.

Tanaka said he expected world oil demand to rise by 1 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 1%, in 2010 as growth resumes outside of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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