The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday left its forecast for global oil demand unchanged, saying it expected the omicron variant of the coronavirus to spread, causing COVID-19 to have little lasting impact. “The impact of the new omicron variant is expected to be mild and short-lived as the world becomes better equipped to deal with COVID-19 and its associated challenges,” OPEC said in its monthly report. OPEC still expects demand growth of 5.7 million barrels per day this year, reflecting an increase in demand in the first half that was offset by a downward revision in consumption in the third quarter. due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and lower industrial production in China, as well as an acceleration in the recovery of fuel consumption for transportation in India. Oil demand for the fourth quarter of 2021 has also been adjusted slightly downward to account for COVID-19 containment measures and the potential impact of the omicron variant. For 2022, demand growth forecast remained unchanged at 4.2 million barrels per day, with part of the recovery previously expected for the current quarter being postponed to the first quarter of next year, “followed by a more steady recovery “throughout the second half of 2022, according to the report.