“This year, we are expecting the biggest decline in non-OPEC oil supply in the last 25 years, almost 700,000 barrels per day. At the same time, global demand growth is in a hectic pace, led by India, China and other emerging countries .
“At the turn of this year or latest 2017, we expect oil markets to rebalance and the prices to rebalance. When we look at all the fundamentals – demand, supply and stocks – I have all the reasons to believe that in the absence of a major economic downturn we are going to see balance in the markets latest by 2017.” Birol said conditions were difficult for shale oil producers despite a recovery in Brent oil prices to above $45 a barrel.
He also said Iran’s crude oil exports could rise by half a million barrels per day this year after Western sanctions against the country were lifted. Iran is determined to recover its share of the world oil market, and can withstand low prices since it has sold oil for as little as $6 a barrel in the past, a source close to Iranian oil policy said on Wednesday.