'Doha or no Doha' oil market turning, will rebalance by 2017: Badri

OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah El-Badri attends a news conference after the EU-OPEC Energy Dialog in Vienna June 27, 2011. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

PARIS (Reuters) - The oil market will begin rebalancing by the third quarter of this year and will turn positive by 2017 despite world’s top producers failing to reach an agreement to freeze production during a weekend meeting in Doha, OPEC’s secretary general said in Paris on Thursday.

“Doha or no Doha, we see that the market is turning,” Abdullah El-Badri told an oil summit in the French capital.

“Maybe demand will be more than supply, and we see that the market by 2017 will turn around and it will be positive. I don’t know how much the price will be, I cannot really tell you. But at least it will be better than what we are seeing right now,” Badri said.

He added that he saw the market turning around by the third quarter of this year.

“The only problem we are having is this overhang, if we can solve this overhang then the market will stabilize,” he said.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Bate Felix; Editing by James Regan