Redburn, the equity research house, has removed all “buy” ratings from the biggest integrated oil companies, arguing that the industry faces an “existential risk” as long-term forecasts for oil demand are up to 30% too high.

Predictions for oil demand growth were still underestimating government action to tackle climate change, warned the research house, adding that the industry could eventually face even more draconian measures if consumption did not stop rising soon.

Redburn’s move, which amounts to a near sector-wide downgrade, is likely to hit sentiment in an industry already struggling to entice investors. The research house forecasts that oil demand could peak within five years.

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