Global oil demand is expected to reach 100 million barrels per day (b/d) later this year, much earlier than previously expected, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo stated on September 5, Reuters reported.

Barkindo told an energy conference in South Africa that encouraging oil industry investment to meet the rising demand would require a stable environment.

“The world will attain the 100 million barrels a day mark of consumption later this year, much sooner than we all earlier projected. Therefore stabilizing forces which create conditions conducive to attracting investments are essential,” he said.

“The priority… is on ensuring stability is sustainable, spreading confidence in the industry and encouraging an environment conducive to the return of investments,” he added.

He continued, saying that confidence in the industry was returning, and that OPEC is looking into methods of institutionalizing the collaboration between OPEC and its allied non-OPEC oil producers over their production rates.

OPEC and non-OPEC states agreed to cut production by 1.8 million b/d in January 2017 in order to increase prices which fell from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to under $30 a barrel in 2016. Prices are currently fluctuating between $70 and $80 a barrel.

Barkindo also warned that trade disputes between the US and China could hurt future energy demand.

“The trade disputes that are emerging among some of the leading partners in the world will eventually hurt [global economic] growth and, by extension, demand for energy,” he said.

“But we are confident… these parties will be able to overcome some of these challenges,” he added. “We are hopeful we will be able to overcome this cloud of uncertainty regarding trade as quickly as we can in order to mitigate the contagion.”