There are signs that the global demand for oil — one of the real drivers of this overheated oil market — may be showing signs of stabilizing:

OPEC cuts estimate of growth in world oil demand for 2008

High prices and slower economic growth in industrialized and Western countries led the Paris-based International Energy Agency to cut its estimates for demand, but the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries put its estimate even lower.

Global oil demand is now projected to grow by 1.35 percent in 2008, compared with the previous estimate of 1.4 percent, according to OPEC’s monthly report for May.

Because of its projected slowdown in demand, OPEC has repeatedly refused to increase production.

“World oil demand growth in 2008 is forecast at 1.2 million barrels per day to average 86.95 million barrels per day, representing a minor downward revision from last month,” the report said.

While demand in industrialized countries has dropped since the beginning of the year, demand in developing countries has continued to grow as their economies grow and they build supply reserves, though demand in China was interrupted this week because of the earthquake.

OPEC said that the warm winter was part of the reason for the slow demand early in the year and, with winter ending in the Northern Hemisphere, “Oil demand growth will follow a slow consumption cycle in the second quarter,” the group said.

Via UPI.  A more important dynamic is on the horizon, perhaps — that is, once the Olympics in Beijing are over, the Chinese economy may experience a bit of a cooling-off period.

All I’m saying is, people, if you are investing — think twice about jumping into oil now, just when everyone is making predictions about $300 oil.

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