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Global oil demand to rise 1.2 million bpd in 2017, steady from 2016 - IEA's Birol

Offshore oil platforms are seen at the Bouri Oil Field off the coast of Libya August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/Files

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Global oil demand will rise by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, steady versus oil demand growth this year of 1.2 million bpd, despite gains in Chinese consumption, the chief of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

Birol also said he was expecting global oil markets to rebalance in the second half of next year, unless there is a supply intervention that raises prices and draws suppliers back into production earlier than that.

“If there is an increase in the prices as a result of this (OPEC-led) intervention we may well see a response from higher cost production,” he said.

OPEC members and other producers such as Russia have been discussing for some months cooperation on cutting back on crude supplies to support prices that are still less than 50 percent of levels two years ago.

Reporting by Mark Tay; Editing By Tom Hogue