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Oman oil minister - confident of agreement this month to extend output cuts

OPEC in its monthly market report on Monday will raise its estimate of oil demand growth to "above 1.5 million barrels a day" for both 2017 and next year, Barkindo said at a conference in Abu Dhabi. As that's about 670,000 bpd more than OPEC produced in the third quarter, global inventories would diminish further in 2018 if the group and its allies continue to keep supplies restrained.

Mr Al Mazroui said there are around 158 million barrels of global inventory above the five-year average, and the market needs time to remove this oversupply.

Opec Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said the oil market is rebalancing and the joint efforts of all members past year is a "new chapter" in the history of the industry.

Brent has gained 12%this year, and the benchmark grade was trading unchanged at $63.52/bbl in London.

"I am hopeful that we will reach an agreement that will lead to more stabilisation in the market and more investments coming to the market", he said.

"If we hadn't done what we did previous year, mobilising as we did, and jointly taken action in responding to the crisis, the industry would probably be in a different condition today".

"I don't see the need to delay the decision until March".

The UAE favors an extension of the deal, Al-Mazrouei said, but he could not say yet if the UAE would support keeping the production cuts through the whole of 2018. USA shale output, a contributor to the global glut, has responded more slowly than expected to the recent increase in crude prices, he later told reporters.

Shale production will grow faster than expected over the next four years, Opec has forecast, as North American producers take advantage of the rebound in oil prices.



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