Demand for crude oil will grow even faster than expected as China's appetite for energy stays undiminished, a new report warns.
Opec states are being asked to pump much more
The International Energy Agency, set up by governments to monitor oil stocks in the 1970s, said demand would rise 1.8 million barrels a day to 84.3 million.
Key causes include freezing weather and strong growth in the US and China.
On Friday the two most closely watched crude oils both closed up, US light to $54.43 a barrel, and Brent to $53.10.
US light gained 89 cents and Brent 44 cents, returning from Thursday's falls back towards the highs seen earlier in the week.
The IEA had previously forecast a rise in demand of 1.5 million barrels a day.
Issuing its monthly overview of the oil market, the IEA said it was raising its forecast because it was taking "a more robust view of US economic growth and the impact of this and other factors on China's oil demand growth prospects".
It said the pressure on supplies was likely to be most pronounced in the first half of the year, with the burden falling on the 11 oil-producing countries which make up the Opec group.
Demand for Opec oil was likely to be 28.6 million barrels a day in 2005, half a million higher than in 2004.
A main driver of demand growth is China, whose rapid economic growth - topping 9% in each of the past two years - is pushing it to look further and further afield for sources of energy.
That growth was likely to be sustained, the IEA said, not least because the US economy was looking healthier than previously thought and was thus offering a larger market for Chinese exports.
The IEA also said supply had surged in the face of the clamour for more oil, but was only just keeping pace with demand.
In February, world supply was up 885,000 barrels a day to 84.3 million barrels, it said.