SINGAPORE - THE current oil supply and demand situation is likely to continue well into next year, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday, suggesting there would be no steep price changes.

IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka told AFP in an interview in Singapore that the market remained well supplied.

Oil prices have been hovering around 80 dollars a barrel in recent months after touching historic highs of more than 147 dollars a barrel in 2008 before the onset of the worst global recession since the 1930s.

Asked about the prospects of oil returning to more than 100 dollars a barrel, Mr Tanaka said it was not for the IEA to predict oil prices.

However, he said supply would remain adequate if the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) maintained its current production levels and that he did not see any drastic changes in market conditions. 'If OPEC will continue with the current level of production, I think the market will continue to be well supplied,' said Mr Tanaka, who was in Singapore for an energy conference.

'If demand will continue as we expect... then I think the market situation will not change very much unless there are other elements like geopolitical risks.

Oil situation to extend into 2011