OPEC's al-Badri predicts a 'more balance' oil market

OPEC logo at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Heinz-Peter Bader | Reuters

The oil market is expected to become more balanced in 2016 as demand continues to grow, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said ahead of the producer group's policy meeting next month.

"The expectation is that the market will return to more balance in 2016," he said in a speech at an Asian ministerial energy roundtable in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday.

"We see global oil demand maintaining its recent healthy growth. We see less non-OPEC supply. And we see an increase in the demand for OPEC crude," al-Badri said, according to the text of the speech published on the OPEC website.

Saudis determined to flood market with oil

Most of the oil supply increases in recent years have come from high-cost production, al-Badri said, in a clear reference to supply sources such as U.S. shale oil. "The market is now taking on board this new reality and gradually resetting itself, as we can see with falling non-OPEC supply growth and stronger demand," he said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which decided late last year to focus on maintaining market share instead of propping up oil prices, holds its next policy-setting meeting at its Vienna headquarters on Dec. 4.

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Saudi Arabia's vice oil minister said on Monday that long-term oil market fundamentals remain robust but prolonged low prices could threaten security of supply and pave the way for a price spike.

The comments from Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman suggest the OPEC heavyweight is satisfied with its strategy of not cutting production and allowing low prices to reduce supplies.

Brent crude was trading at $47.64 a barrel at 0908 GMT, compared with levels around $115 in June last year.