The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries predicted higher demand for its oil in 2018 on Wednesday and said its production-cutting deal with rival producers was getting rid of a glut, pointing to a tighter market that could move into a deficit next year.
In a monthly report, OPEC said the world would need 33.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of its crude next year, up 230,000 bpd from its previous forecast.
"With the market moving into the winter season, distillate fuel supplies are notably tight, representing a change from the excess supplies seen in the last two years," OPEC said.
"OPEC and key non-OPEC oil producers continue to successfully drain the oil market of excess barrels."
The report illustrates growing confidence among OPEC officials that its supply cut is working.
In a deal aimed at clearing the glut, OPEC is curbing output by about 1.2 million bpd, while Russia and other non-OPEC producers are cutting half as much, until March 2018.
According to Reuters, the 14-country producer group said its oil output in September, as assessed by secondary sources, came in below the 2018 demand forecast, even though production climbed by about 89,000 bpd to 32.75 million bpd.
In a further sign that the supply excess is easing, OPEC said inventories in developed economies declined by 24.7 million barrels in August to 2.996 billion barrels, 171 million barrels above the five-year average.
OPEC and its allies want to bring stocks down to the five-year average and are discussing extending their supply restraint.