OPEC cuts oil demand forecast on growth concerns

By the Associated Press | September 12, 2011 | 6:45 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — OPEC has sharply revised down its forecast for world oil demand for this year and suggested consumption would remain weak in 2012 because of increasing worries about the state of the global economy.

The 12-nation producer group said Monday it was lowering its demand forecast for 2011 by 150,000 barrels per day. Demand for 2012 was cut by 40,000 barrels per day.

OPEC said that a weaker than expected U.S. driving season and debt woes in Europe were weighing heavily on oil demand this year and could spill over into 2012 if growth figures do not rebound.

On Monday, the front-month U.S. futures contract was trading near $85 per barrel on electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.