Oil prices extend losses; OPEC says demand growth will slow

LONDON, August 15, 2008 (AFP) – Crude prices fell further on Friday as OPEC lowered its forecast for oil demand growth, citing the weak global economy.

London’s Brent North Sea crude for October delivery dropped 1.21 dollars to 112.47 dollars a barrel. The September contract had expired at 112.64 dollars on Thursday.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery, shed 1.77 dollars to 113.24 dollars a barrel in electronic deals.

“The softening economic situation has led to a further slowdown in oil demand growth,” the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its latest monthly forecast on Friday.

OPEC, which produces about 40 percent of the world’s oil, revised its global oil demand growth forecast for 2008 down to 1.17 percent from 1.20 percent in July.

The cartel also kept its 2009 forecast for oil demand growth unchanged at 1.03 percent, according OPEC’s latest report.

“Due to a major slowdown in transport and industrial fuel consumption not only in North America but also in … Europe and Pacific (industrialised nations), oil demand growth will be on the decline in 2009 which will make t