OPEC oil production plummets as Saudi Arabia slashes output

OPEC oil production plummets as Saudi Arabia slashes output

/ Policy & Regulations / Wednesday, 13 February 2019 07:14

OPEC has announced that its oil production has been sharply reduced due to a combination of factors which include the ongoing political crisis in OPEC member country Venezuela - and the decision by Saudi Arabia to slash its output.

In its monthly report, OPEC confirmed that it had produced 797,000 fewer barrels per-day in January than in the previous month. The decrease is in line with OPEC’s pledge to curb output in an effort to boost declining market prices.

OPEC has a history of manipulating oil output to influence global prices in the best interests of their members, so the decision to decrease output has not come as a surprise to many. The total production for the month was 30.81 million barrels per-day.

The biggest reduction came from the world’s most powerful oil exporter and OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia.

Oil production in Venezuela has been decimated due to draconian sanctions imposed on them by the United States. In addition to this, ongoing political unrest and an economic crisis has superseded the issues facing Venezuela.

The cartel's scale-back was in line with an agreement by OPEC and non-OPEC members in December to trim production by 1.2 million barrels a day from January 1.

OPEC has joined forces with 10 non-member nations including Russia to trim output to avoid a repeat of the 2014 crash when prices dove to below $30 a barrel -- down from over $100 -- due to a glut in supplies and weakening global demand.

While prices remain volatile, they have rallied to just above $60 a barrel and jumped more than a dollar after the OPEC production update. However, that figure still remains far below the $85 a barrel hit in early October before prices slid back.

OPEC’s report has estimated that non-OPEC members would likely produce more oil than expected this year, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and the United States.

The report said, “With economic momentum expected to slow in the current year, this makes economic developments in the major consuming nations a key factor to monitor going forward. 

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