PARIS (AP) -- The International Energy Agency said Thursday it has raised its forecasts for global oil demand for 2010, citing stronger than expected economic activity in developed economies.
The agency based in Paris raised its estimate by a daily 60,000 barrels to 86.4 million barrels a day. That's a 2 percent increase from 2009, when global oil demand shrank 1.5 percent.
In its monthly report on the oil markets released Thursday, the IEA also said the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the ongoing oil spill might prove "to be a supply-side game changer."
The agency, the energy arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a grouping of the world's richest nations, said it cannot be sure what regulatory changes will result. It said an assumption of one to two years of delays for all planned new deepwater oilfield projects implies a reduction of up to 300,000 barrels a day in 2015 production from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.