Gulf NOCs have put petchems at the heart of their downstream strategies. The latest IEA forecast suggests this is a prudent approach.

Global oil demand is expected to grow by 12% from almost 95mn b/d in 2017 to over 106mn b/d in 2040, according to the latest annual forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This is an increase on its previous outlook, which pegged 2040 demand at 104.9mn b/d.

The agency’s World Energy Outlook 2018, published this week, says the upward...