Global oil demand will grow slightly less than previously forecast this year because of the disasters that have hit Japan, according to data released by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Tuesday.

Demand would grow by 1.39 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, OPEC said in its latest market outlook, 50,000 bpd of crude oil less than in last month's projection. One barrel is equivalent to 159 liters.

The massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident led to a sudden decline in Japanese oil consumption since last month.

"However, this should be offset by fuel substitution from nuclear to crude-burning and rebuilding operations later in the year," OPEC said.

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