Saudi Arabia said to reduce oil output to lowest since January

April 12, 2017

Saudi Arabia pared its oil production last month to the lowest since January, staying below the output level it pledged to maintain as part of a global deal to reduce crude supplies, according to a person with knowledge of the data.

The biggest producer in OPEC cut output by 111,000 barrels a day last month to 9.9mn a day, according to the person, who asked not to be identified. Production had increased in February to 10.011mn barrels a day as the country replenished its own storage tanks.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are leading the agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to curtail oil supplies and end a three year surplus. Under the accord reached in December, Saudi Arabia pledged to cap its output at 10.058mn barrels a day.

“The Saudis are more than fully complying with the deal,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst, said on Tuesday. “This is good news for the market and prices.”

Brent crude, a global benchmark, was down two cents, or less than 0.1 per cent, at US$55.96 a barrel in Dubai on Tuesday, after falling as much as 0.5 per cent earlier in the day. Prices have dropped 1.6 per cent this year.

Saudi Arabia cut back shipments to the US as a result of the lower production, Ramady said. US oil imports from the kingdom declined 24 per cent in the week ended March 31, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Shipments were 888,000 barrels a day, the smallest since December.

Bloomberg