Saudi to cut oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day in December

12 November, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Saudi energy minister lands in Baghdad to discuss reducing oil production

Saudi Arabia will cut its December oil output by 500 barrels per day in comparison to November's output, the kingdom's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said at the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency release their respective monthly reports on the outlook for oil supply and demand later this week.

The world's second and third crude producers - after they were overtaken by the United States thanks to shale oil - Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are the core of an alliance of producer nations that succeeded in solidifying oil prices after the 2014 crash.

The UAE's energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, said balancing the market would "require changes in the strategy" of producers.

Opec's de-facto leader Saudi Arabia meanwhile said it would draw back its exports for the month of December to the tune of 500,000 bpd as it anticipates lower winter demand.

But producers ended up cutting more - partly due to unexpected outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola - and so agreed in June to limit cuts to the agreed level, meaning restoring about 1 million bpd in output. "We need to look at 2019 with the view to keeping the markets balanced".

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has been pumping 10.7m bpd since October, according to Falih.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at 60.73 dollars per barrel, up by 54 cents, or 0.9 per cent from their last settlement.


Oil producers will continue to evaluate the market data prior to the Vienna summit, "but if we need to trim production by one million bpd, we will do", Falih added.

An official from group member Kuwait said on Monday major oil exporters over the weekend had "discussed a proposal for some kind of cut in (crude) supply next year", although the official did not provide any detail.

Meeting to examine how to curb a sharp slide in oil prices, the producers said they "reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements".

"We have to study all the factors", Falih said.

He also attributed the sharp drop in prices to "microeconomic uncertainties", and signs of a build-up in crude inventories.

The imposition of sanctions against Iran and those who do business with Iran has had a very limited impact on oil prices, due in large part to strong output from the USA and Russian Federation.

Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest lender, said Friday oil producers must act to prevent a free fall of prices.

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