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The OPEC has been in the news quite a bit this year.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is an intergovernmental organization or cartel of 13 countries. Founded on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members, it has since 1965 been headquartered in Vienna, Austria, although Austria is not an OPEC member state.

On Monday it raised its world oil demand forecast for the first quarter of 2022 and stuck to its timeline for a return to pre-pandemic levels of oil use, saying the Omicron coronavirus variant would have a mild and brief impact.

The upbeat view from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries comes as oil prices have recovered some of the slide seen when the variant emerged last month. Still, the World Health Organization says Omicron poses a "very high" global risk.

Oil dropped 10% on Nov. 26 when reports of the new variant emerged as traders feared a renewed hit to demand. But OPEC and its allies decided on Dec. 2 to stick to a planned production increase for January, a gamble that looks to have paid off as prices stabilize.

In the report, OPEC maintained its forecast that world oil demand will grow by 4.15 million bpd in 2022. This year's growth forecast was also kept unchanged.

World consumption is expected to surpass the 100 million bpd mark in the third quarter of 2022, in line with last month's forecast. On an annual basis according to OPEC, the world last used over 100 million bpd of oil in 2019.

Sources: Reuters and Wikipedia


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