The oil market is "slowly but surely" reaching a balance as a result of the success of the OPEC production deal, the head of the oil industry and markets division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), told CNBC on Thursday.
"We're seeing demand growing fairly steadily in the oil market and we think that the balance is coming together slowly but surely and the numbers are there to support it," Neil Atkinson said shortly after the IEA published its monthly oil report.
"We think that as the year progresses that rebalancing will become more and more apparent in the drawdown of actual physical stocks," he added.
According to the IEA's monthly report, global demand growth is poised to fall for a second consecutive year as a result of subdued gains, most notably in Russia and India. The IEA forecast global demand growth of 1.3 million b/d (barrels per day) after a weaker-than-expected thirst for oil from investors in the first three months of the year.
Oil producers were said to have scored "fairly well" since OPEC and non-OPEC countries implemented a landmark deal to curb global oversupply at the start of the year.