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OPEC: We're at 86 percent compliance to cuts

A joint committee monitoring the terms of a production agreement held its first meeting.

By Daniel J. Graeber
OPEC: We're at 86 percent compliance to cuts
A committee monitoring compliance with a multilateral, OPEC-led, agreement to curb production reports 86 percent compliance. Photo by AzmanMD/Shutterstock

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Parties to an agreement to limit crude oil production starting in January were 86 percent in line with commitments, a joint OPEC, non-OPEC group said.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in November to sideline about what was expected in global demand so that total member state production would be at 32.5 million barrels per day in January "in order to accelerate the ongoing drawdown of the stock overhang and bring the oil market rebalancing forward." Non-member states, led by Russia, agreed to limit their production in solidarity.

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OPEC said a joint committee monitoring the terms of the agreement held its inaugural meeting in Vienna to verify compliance.

"According to the joint technical committee report for January 2017, the OPEC and non-OPEC producers achieved a conformity level of 86 percent," OPEC said in a statement. "The [monitoring committee] noted that there is still room for improvement to reach 100 percent conformity, and, in this regard, urged all parties to press on towards full and timely conformity."

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Speaking at an energy summit in London earlier this week, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said there was strong coordination around the agreement, comments that followed reports suggesting stronger action in the second half of the year.

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The agreement holds for six months and OPEC said it would consider an extension as appropriate.

Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the agreement as they depend on revenue from their energy sectors to help ensure national stability. Iran, meanwhile, is the only member state allowed to increase its production as it looks to regain a market share lost to nuclear-related sanctions.

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Petromatrix, a sector consultant group based in Switzerland, reported the OPEC cuts are not enough to eat into the surplus of crude oil already on the market. Data this week from the United States, where shale oil is recovering along with crude oil prices, show total U.S. oil stockpiles rose last week for the seventh week in a row.

The latest survey from S&P Global Platts found compliance from the 10 OPEC members obligated to cut production at 91 percent. Platts noted coordination from non-OPEC members, but did not include their contribution in its compliance figures.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower in early Friday trading.

RELATED OPEC notes role as market stabilizer

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