Despite recent gains, International Energy Agency on Tuesday said it expects crude oil prices to remain subdued in 2019.
In an interview to CNBC's Sri Jegarajah, Fatih Birol, executive director, warned that if crude oil prices are allowed to surge beyond a limit, it will weaken demand.
"In the last two-three years, we saw a very strong oil demand growth, but this year and in 2019 we may see downward pressure on oil demand growth for two reasons," Birol said.
"First, economic growth momentum is slowing down and some emerging markets have major currency crisis. Second, high oil prices creates problem for consumers to afford and as result of these two factors, in 2019 oil demand growth is weaker than 2018 or 2017. But compared to historical averages, oil demand is still above 1 million barrels a day," he added.
He said India is moving to center stage of global energy affairs including oil, "With the currency weakening, the equation has changed and it would therefore put a downward pressure and appetite for oil demand in India and other emerging markets."
"I believe high oil prices are not good for the consumers today, but not good for producers tomorrow,” Birol said.
First Published: IST