OPEC will need to maintain or increase its oil production to meet global demand next year, despite concerns about the state of the world economy, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.
"There is an ample market for OPEC production at or above current levels" of 30.1 million barrels per day, said David Fyfe, director of the IEA's market and oil divisions.
"We dont think there is a market (in which) producers should be looking to scale back supply," Fyfe told a press conference during a the second and final day of a ministerial meeting in Paris.
The IEA, the energy branch of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and which represents the rich, oil consuming countries, calls regularly on OPEC to keep oil flowing and avoid putting the brakes on growth.
The IEA last week lowered its forecasts for global growth in 2011 and 2012 and for oil demand, had based its projections on a slowdown in developed countries but not on a new, "double dip" recession, Fyfe said.
The market currently remains "tightened" with the loss of a large portion of production from Libya and owing to lower than forecast production in non-OPEC countries, the expert said.
The Libyan conflict has already lost the market 328 million barrels and normal production is not expected to resume before 2013.
The IEA forecasts that oil demand will rise by 1.3 million barrels to 90.5 million barrels a day in 2012, according to its last monthly report.
OPEC production should ideally be in the order of 30.6 million barrels a day, Fyfe said.