(EnergyAsia, August 17 2011, Wednesday) — Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has reduced its forecasts for world oil demand growth for this year and 2012.

The cartel now expects world oil demand to grow by 1.2 million b/d in 2011, down from its July forecast of 1.35 million b/d. For 2012, it sees world demand growing by 1.3 million b/d, slightly lower than its forecast last month.

OPEC said economic worries have affected oil demand from the developed world, leading to weaker-than-expected consumption during the summer driving season. It expects OECD oil demand to continue declining after a temporary rebound last year.

OPEC also reduced its forecasts for world economic growth to 3.7% in 2011 and to 4% in 2012 on account of an expected slowdown in the US growth, which was cut to 1.8% from 2.5% in 2011 and to 2.3% from 2.9% in 2012.

The forecast for Japan and the Euro-zone remained unchanged in 2011 at minus 0.8% and 2% respectively. Japan’s forecast for 2012 remained at 2.5%, while the Eurozone’s forecast was reduced to 1.4% from 1.5% previously.

OPEC said it expects developing Asian countries to remain the main drivers of growth, with China’s economy seen expanding at 9% in 2011 and 8.5% in 2012. It revised down India’s economic growth for 2011 from 8.1% to 7.9%, and kept the forecast for 2012 at 7.7%.