But OPEC, which has traditionally defended price levels by cutting output if needed, dramatically switched strategy last November when it opted to leave its production target unchanged.

World oil demand growth should outpace any increase in oil supply from non-OPEC sources and ultra-light oils such as condensate, increasing consumption of OPEC crude, it said.

“The improvement in global economic activities in 2016 is projected to translate into higher oil consumption”, the group said.

In 2016, world oil demand growth is forecast to pick up by 1.34m bpd, reaching almost 94m bpd. “Iran will be stronger in defending its market share”, said a fourth Opec delegate, who forecast that prices would not exceed the $50 to $60 range next year.

That is still well ahead of current demand for OPEC oil and should help ensure global inventories continue to build for some time to come. That amounts to at least five million barrels of daily output. Angola, Ecuador, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates saw production declines of 67,200 barrels a day. That’s still about 1.2 million less than the group estimated it pumped in June.

In its last meeting on June 5, 2015, OPEC continued to maintain its production quota at 30 MMbpd for the next six months.

On Friday, the the worldwide Energy Agency said it sees 2016 global demand growth of 1.2 million barrels a day vs.an average of 1.4 million barrels a day this year.

Outside of the cartel, non-OPEC countries will probably put out a combined 300,000 barrels a day next year, down from 860,000 barrels a day this year.

However, the organisation also warned that a number of market challenges remained, including “still high unemployment in the eurozone in combination with the uncertainties in Greece, expectations of rising interest rates in the USA, overcapacity amid a slowing economy in China, and on-going geopolitical issues”. Opec delegates say it is unlikely that Opec will reverse its policy and cut production then, preferring to wait until after December to assess the impact of additional oil from Iran on the market.