OPEC’s oil giant, Saudi Arabia, made a large cut in its crude output in January to support prices and lessen a glut, helping boost compliance with the group’s supply-reduction deal to a record high of more than 90 percent.
“The preliminary numbers are showing a very high level of conformity within OPEC,” the group’s Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo told Reuters in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
In January, cutbacks by the 11 OPEC members amounted to 93 percent compliance, according to a Reuters calculation based on OPEC’s figures. That’s higher than the International Energy Agency’s estimate of 90 percent, which it called a record.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is curbing its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1, the first cut in eight years. Russia and 10 other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut half as much.
Supply from the 11 OPEC members with production targets under the deal fell to 29.888 million bpd last month, according to figures from secondary sources that OPEC uses to monitor its
OPEC published the data in its monthly report on Monday. Oil prices pared an earlier decline after the release of the report, trading above $56 a barrel. OPEC’s cut is supporting the market, but expectations that the move will lead to a revival in U.S. shale drilling have limited the rally.
Saudi Arabia told OPEC that it made an even bigger cut than estimated by the secondary sources, reducing January output by more than 700,000 bpd to 9.748 million bpd – lower than called for under the OPEC deal.
The report said production by all OPEC members, including cut-exempted Nigeria and Libya, fell by 890,000 bpd to 32.14 million bpd.