World oil demand will grow more quickly in 2007 than this year, the International Energy Agency claims.
A nd the organisation believes the trend will come despite high prices as rising output from producers outside OPEC eases the strain on supply.
Global demand in 2007 will rise by 1.57 million barrels per day, the adviser to 26 industrialised countries said in its monthly report.
That is up from 1.21 million bpd this year, an estimate trimmed by 30,000 bpd from last month.
The outlook points to an easing burden on OPEC as supply from rivals rebounds next year to grow more quickly than global demand.
A strain on supplies has powered oil's climb to record highs above $75 a barrel this year.
Lawrence Eagles, head of the IEA's oil industry and markets division, said: "Although we still have an uncertain geopolitical background, the picture does look a little bit more comfortable next year."
The 2007 demand forecast from the Paris-based IEA is near the top end of a poll of nine expert analysts, which calls for average growth of 1.4 million bpd.
Next year's demand growth, to an average of 86.4 million bpd, is based on a robust world economic outlook and a rebound in demand in North America and Southeast Asia, the IEA said.
Oil demand in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, will rise by 5.5 per cent next year, slightly less than expected this year, the IEA said.
Demand in the Middle East is expected to grow by 5.3 per cent in 2007, almost as fast as a 5.4 per cent gain in 2006.
Non-OPEC supply will i ncrease next year by 1.7 million bpd, up from growth of 1.1 million bpd in 2006 and no expansion in 2005, the IEA said.
The boost will result in lower demand for oil from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of more than a third of world supply, next year.
Demand for OPEC oil will slip to 28.4 million bpd next year from 28.8 million bpd in 2006.
This year's figure was cut by 500,000 bpd from last month's report, in part because of weaker demand in some countries.
While the prospect of rising supply outside OPEC offers some comfort to consumers, analysts said the forecast looked optimistic due to shortages of rigs and manpower.
"The oilfield services sector is stretched," said Mike Wittner of investment bank Calyon. "There is no slack in the system, so we should assume there will be more delays in new oilfield start-ups."
Supply growth outside OPEC has lagged forecasts in recent years, such as in 2005 when hurricanes damaged oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a separate report yesterday, the IEA said demand will rise more quickly in the years to 2011 than in the past decade.
The agency said demand will grow on average by 1.8 million bpd, or two per cent, a year to reach 93 million bpd in 2011.
Average annual demand grew by 1.8 per cent in the past decade.
Dependence on OPEC oil will grow in the years after 2007.