ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) - Global oil demand is expected to grow by less than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019 as consumption slows, BP (BP.L) Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary told Reuters on Wednesday.
Mounting trade tensions between the United States and China and increased signs of a global economic slowdown are also set to weigh on oil refining margins, which BP expects will soften in the fourth quarter of the year, Gilvary said.
Oil demand expanded by 1.3 million bpd in 2018 to nearly 100 million bpd, the International Energy Agency says.
“The macro level is creating huge uncertainty and there is no question that is flowing through to demand,” Gilvary said in an interview on the sidelines of the Offshore Europe conference in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Global oil inventories have again risen above their recent average, softening the impact of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, Gilvary added.
“There is a lot of dynamic going on around demand, generally, which started off fairly robust at the start of the year, softened through the mid point. We were seeing a little bit of a pick-up around our results ... but that seems to have softened off again,” Gilvary said.
A change in marine fuel standards starting in 2020 has yet to affect refining margins, he added.
Reporting by Shadia Nasralla, writing by Ron Bousso; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans