COVID-19 causing first drop in oil use in decade: IEA

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 13 2020 06:07 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2020 08:40 AM

A section of the BP Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) oil platform is seen in the North Sea, around 100 miles east of Aberdeen in Scotland, Feb. 24, 2014. Andy Buchanan, Reuters/File

PARIS - Global oil demand will suffer its first quarterly drop in a decade as the COVID-19 virus lashes the economy in China and its impact ripples throughout the world, the IEA said Thursday.

"Global oil demand has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the widespread shutdown of China’s economy," the International Energy Agency said in its latest monthly report.

"Demand is now expected to fall by 435,000 barrels year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, the first quarterly contraction in more than 10 years" when it dropped during the global economic crisis, it added.

The virus, which originated in China, has prompted travel bans in several countries. The acute respiratory disease has killed over 1,300 and infected nearly 60,000.