(Bloomberg) -- Global oil demand is set for another year of “robust” growth, according to the chief of Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company.

“We see 104 million barrels of demand for this year, so a growth of about 1.5 million barrels,” Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said at a conference in Dhahran on Monday. “So it is robust.” 

While analysts generally predict that demand will increase this year, driven by continued economic expansion in China, the pace is expected to be slower than growth of more than 2 million barrels a day seen in 2023, as the post-pandemic rebound has now run its course.  

Nasser’s projections are roughly half-way between forecasts from OPEC — the producer group led by Riyadh — and its counterpart representing consuming nations, the International Energy Agency. It’s in line with views from major traders such as Vitol Group and Gunvor Group Ltd. 

Crude prices have held near $80 a barrel in London as record output from the US and elsewhere manages to satisfy the demand increase, offsetting fears over conflict in the Middle East and production cuts by the Saudi-led OPEC+ alliance.

Aramco surprised the oil industry last month by announcing it won’t proceed with plans to bolster production capacity by about 8% to 13 million barrels a day by 2027. 

--With assistance from Grant Smith.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.