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‘Disorderly Brexit’ could result in global oil demand growth, IEA warns

A sample of crude oil sits in a glass flask during testing for chloride salt content in a laboratory in an oilfield in Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
A sample of crude oil sits in a glass flask during testing for chloride salt content in a laboratory in an oilfield in Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

A messy Brexit could affect growth in global oil demand over the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency.

“Ongoing trade disputes between major powers and a disorderly Brexit could lead to a reduction in the rate of growth of international trade and oil demand,” the IEA said in its medium-term oil-market report, which covers the period to 2024.

The rise in oil prices this year has been tempered by concerns over oil consumption following the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The Paris-based IEA, which advises most major economies on energy policy, didn’t quantify the impact on demand in the event the U.K. leaves the European Union in a disorganized fashion.

It projected that global oil consumption will increase by about 1.2 million barrels a day, or 1.2 percent, each year to 2024.

The U.K. is poised to leave the EU on March 29. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has declared Brexit talks are “ deadlocked” as ministers urged the EU to make a last minute concession before British lawmakers vote on a deal this week.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said this month that though the U.K. has made “constructive developments” in preparing for a no-deal Brexit, the economic impact of crashing out of the EU would still be substantial.

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