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Non-OPEC crude oil production cut compliance at 50%: Kuwait oil minister

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Non-OPEC crude oil production cut compliance at 50%: Kuwait oil minister

Dubai — Non-OPEC producers are only complying with 50% of their agreed cuts, under the landmark OPEC/non-OPEC output deal, Kuwaiti oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said Monday in a statement.

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OPEC's compliance with the November 30 production cut agreement was 92% since the deal became effective in January, the minister said in a brief statement to state-run Kuna news agency.

Under the agreement, OPEC pledged to cut 1.2 million b/d from its October output levels for six months starting from January 1 and freeze production at around 32.5 million b/d, including Indonesia. It was joined by 11 non-OPEC countries, led by Russia, who agreed to cut output by 558,000 b/d in the first half of 2017.

Marzourk chaired the first meeting in mid-January of a five-country committee created to monitor and enforce the OPEC/non-OPEC deal. Regular monthly meetings are planned.

A technical committee is due to meet again February 21-22 at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, and a ministerial meeting will be held March 22-23, Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak said Saturday.

The International Energy Agency said Friday OPEC had made a "solid start" to its six-month production cut pact, with the producer group's implementation amounting to 90%.

S&P Global Platts' own estimate earlier this month put OPEC's January production at 32.16 million b/d, down 690,000 b/d from December. The 10 OPEC members obligated to reduce oil output achieved 91% of their required cuts, with their production falling 1.14 million b/d from October.

The IEA said in its latest monthly oil market report, OPEC crude output had fallen 1 million b/d in January to 32.06 million b/d. It also said overall global oil output had fallen by 1.5 million b/d.

But it noted that while some members, notably Saudi Arabia, had cut more than the agreed amount, others such as the UAE and Venezuela had over-produced by 90,000 b/d and 80,000 b/d respectively.

"The strong compliance was largely a function of Qatar and Saudi Arabia cutting more than promised rather than all members cooperating to an extraordinary degree," analysts at Citi Futures said in a research note.

While the cut was described by the IEA as "one of the deepest in the history of OPEC output cut initiatives," the impact on pricing has been muted.

Crude oil futures were marginally lower in mid-afternoon trade in Asia Monday. At 2:10 pm Singapore time (0610 GMT), ICE April Brent crude futures were down 5 cents/b (0.09%) from Friday's settle at $56.65/b, while NYMEX March light sweet crude was down 8 cents/b (0.15%) at $53.78/b.

--Adal Mirza,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,