OPEC sees balanced oil market by late 2018 as cuts erode glut

OPEC sees balanced oil market by late 2018 as cuts erode glut
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LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC expects the world oil market to be balanced by late 2018 as its deal with other producers to cut output reduces excess oil in storage, even as U.S. and other producers outside the group pump more crude.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in a monthly report, cut its estimate of global demand for its crude in 2018 by 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 33.15 million bpd, in part because of higher U.S. supply.

But the 14-country producer group said its oil output in November, as assessed by secondary sources, was below the 2018 demand forecast at 32.45 million bpd, a drop of about 133,000 bpd from October.

The report follows the Nov. 30 decision by OPEC, Russia and several other non-OPEC producers to extend their oil output-cutting deal until the end of 2018 to finish clearing a global glut of crude that built up from 2014.

"This should lead to a further reduction in excess global inventories, arriving at a balanced market by late 2018," OPEC sad in the report.

Oil prices are trading near to $64 a barrel, close to their highest since 2015, supported by the OPEC-led effort and an unplanned shutdown of a British oil pipeline. The price of crude is still about half its level of mid-2014.

OPEC said oil stocks fell further in October. Its production figures showed compliance with the supply cuts increased in November from already high rates.

Adherence by the 11 OPEC members with output targets has risen to 121 percent, according to a Reuters calculation, higher than October's level.

(Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Edmund Blair)

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