|World oil consumption will rise for the first time in two years in 2010 as a recovery in the global economy boosts demand, according to a Reuters poll of top oil-tracking analysts and organisations.
But the expected increase of 1.1 per cent worldwide is unlikely to drain away all the excess supplies, despite the slow growth in production outside the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
Oil demand is predicted to rise by 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 84.9 million bpd in 2010, the poll of nine forecasters found. World demand has fallen by 2.5 per cent since hitting 86.2 million bpd in 2007, as the dual impact of high prices and the economic crisis cut consumption.
The steep drop in demand saw oil prices crash from record highs of almost $150 a barrel last summer, to below $40 a barrel at the turn of the year.
Since then prices have risen back to around $70 a barrel after the Opec producer group tightened supplies. Prices have also found support from investors betting demand could start to outpace supply growth in years to come.
Non-Opec supply was seen rising by an average of 100,000 bpd in 2010 to 50.5 million bpd, with the need for crude from Opec seen rising by an average of 400,000 bpd to 29.5 million bpd.
That is some 2 million bpd below the amount of crude oil the world needed from Opec members in 2008.
Opec member countries have tried to cut as much as 4.2 million bpd of oil - roughly 5 per cent of world demand - from the market since September in a bid to soak up excess supplies.
The group's spare production capacity was estimated to rise above 6.5 million bpd in 2010 if it holds output steady.
But Opec's output of natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are not subject to the group's official quota limits, will help boost global supplies, rising by 12 percent to 5.6 million bpd in 2010.
Almost a quarter of next year's increased global thirst for oil, 200,000 bpd, is expected to come from China.
Forecasters saw China's oil demand growing by between 1 and 4 per cent, from levels of 8 million bpd this year.
The industrialised OECD nations will burn 45.6 million barrels next year, the same amount as 2009.