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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Global oil demand will exceed pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year, the International Energy Agency estimated Friday morning.

Why it matters: When demand went into a historic decline last year, there was lots of discussion about the revival timeline — and whether it would ever come all the way back.

  • Friday's monthly outlook — IEA's first detailed look at oil supply and demand balances over the course of 2022 — helps clarify that picture.
  • Pandemics are a ghastly reason for demand cuts, but the report nonetheless underscores hurdles facing policymakers as scientists warn that a fast transition from fossil fuels is needed to limit global warming.

By the numbers: The agency sees demand, which collapsed by 8.6 million barrels per day (bpd) last year, reviving by 5.4 million bpd in 2021 and another 3.1 million bpd in 2022.

  • That would restore global demand to well over 100 million bpd by the end of next year.
  • "Our first detailed look at 2022 balances confirms earlier expectations that OPEC+ needs to open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied," IEA said.

How it works: The report sees jet fuel demand recovering slowly as some travel restrictions remain.

  • Telework, electric cars and efficiency offset some gasoline demand despite increased driving as the pandemic eases.
  • IEA sees petrochemical manufacturing boosted by "robust" plastics demand, among other factors driving demand recovery.
  • But needless to say there are known unknowns, and the report cautions that slow vaccine rollouts could jeopardize demand recovery outside the OECD.

The big picture: The new estimates highlight the challenges outlined in IEA's recent analysis of what's needed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the agency said.

  • "This roadmap notes that most pledges by countries are not yet underpinned by near‐term policies and measures."
  • "In the meantime, oil demand looks set to continue to rise, underlining the enormous effort required to get on track to reach stated ambitions," IEA adds.

Go deeper

Updated 36 mins ago - Health

White House acknowledges U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration acknowledged on Tuesday that it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."

Biden endorses bill to end sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration endorsed a bill Tuesday that would end sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine offenses.

The big picture: Supporting the legislation follows through on one of Biden's campaign promises. But it's a shift from decades ago, when Biden spearheaded efforts to pass the legislation that implemented the disparities in the first place.