OPEC Output Falls Most in Almost 2 Years  | Rigzone

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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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Before its agreement to cut oil supplies even started, OPEC's production plunged by the most in almost two years last month.

(Bloomberg) -- Before its agreement to cut oil supplies even started, OPEC’s production plunged by the most in almost two years last month.

In a sign of the urgency felt by the cartel amid tumbling crude prices, leading member Saudi Arabia throttled back production, according to a Bloomberg survey of officials, analysts and ship-tracking data. The group’s pact to curb output only formally started this week.

The kingdom’s deliberate cutbacks were compounded by unplanned losses in Iran, which is being targeted by U.S. sanctions, and in Libya, where protests halted the biggest oil field.

As a result, oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell 530,000 barrels a day to 32.6 million a day last month. It’s the sharpest pullback since January 2017, when the group first embarked on its strategy to clear the glut created by rising supplies of U.S. shale oil.

A global coalition of oil producers known as OPEC+, which comprises both members of the group and other exporters including Russia, agreed on Dec. 7 to reduce output during the first six months of 2019. Crude prices failed to rally however, and instead slumped to the lowest in more than a year.

Brent crude futures climbed as much as 5.1 percent on Wednesday as shipping data showed Saudi Arabia was delivering its announced cutbacks, but at about $56 a barr....

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