OPEC scaled back oil production in December ahead of an official reduction plan meant to bring down global inventories and prop up prices.
The group’s output declined by 751,000 barrels per day (bpd) during December to average 31.58 million bpd, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Thursday in its Monthly Oil Market Report.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, was behind most of the overall decline with a cut of 468,000 bpd, while Iran, under U.S. sanctions, saw output drop by 159,000 bpd. Libya and UAE also reduced output.
OPEC, along with other Russia-led countries, signed a deal early Dec. to reduce output by 1.2 million bpd for the first half of 2019. OPEC nations signed on to cut 800,000 barrels a day and the Russia-led group agreed to handle the remaining 400,000 barrels a day.
Meanwhile, OPEC said global oil supply decreased by 350,000 bpd to average 100.02 million bpd in
December 2018, compared with the previous month.
OPEC also said Thursday that it expects world oil demand to rise by 1.29 million barrels a day this year, in line with last month’s projection, from an average level of demand of 98.78 million barrels a day in 2018.
Commercial oil stocks in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development—a group of industrialised, oil-consuming nations that includes the U.S.—fell by 700,000 barrels in November, to stand at 2.871 billion barrels. That’s 23 million barrels above OPEC’s target of the latest five-year average, but 32 million barrels lower year-over-year.