OPEC oil flow drops as Saudi squeezes production

Oil flow in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell to 30.45 million barrels per day (b/d) over January. Production dropped from 30.65 million b/d in December, according to […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Oil flow in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell to 30.45 million barrels per day (b/d) over January.

Production dropped from 30.65 million b/d in December, according to a new survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts by Platts.

A drop in oil from Saudi Arabia led this dip, as Saudi’s output dropped to the lowest level since the summer of 2011, producing 9.25 million b/d compared to 9.05 million in May 2011. The country’s oil officials have denied attempts to push up oil prices, instead pointing to weak electricity demand from homes.

John Kingston, Platts global director of news said: “This report is yet another affirmation that Saudi Arabia is willing to narrow what had looked like a big gap between supply and demand almost completely from its own production. All data a few months ago was pointing to a gap that looked large; now, it’s a lot smaller. And the biggest factor in closing that gap has been a reduction from Saudi Arabia.”

Other factors in the oil drop were a strike at a Libyan oil terminal which damped exports and “repeated sabotage” of Iraq’s pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean by insurgents.