OPEC Oil Production Rose In December Despite Plunge In Venezuela Output

In its latest monthly report, OPEC announced that according to secondary sources, December oil production by the cartel rose by 42.4kbpd from November to 32.416mmbpd, if 144kbpd below October's 32.56mmbpd level, and just below the mandated production ceiling of 32.5mmbpd.

While the biggest producer Saudi Arabia saw its output dip by 11kbpd to 9.918mmbpd, it was Venezuela's production that tumbled by nearly 5%, or 82.2kbpd, to 1.745mmbpd, and is rapidly becoming the biggest swing factor in rising oil prices. The decline was offset by a jump in Nigerian oil production, which pumped 75.7kbpd more in December, to 1.861mmbpd. Algeria, Angola, Iran and Kuwait also saw their output increase in December.


OPEC also revised its 2017 global oil demand growth higher, now at 1.57mmbpd, averaging some 96.99mmbpd in 2017. For 2018, oil demand growth is anticipated at 1.53mmbpd, or some 98.51mmbpd.


Meanwhile, world oil supply in December increased by 0.40 mb/d m-o-m, to average 97.49 mb/d, representing an increase of 0.83 mb/d y-o-y. Preliminary non-OPEC oil supply, including OPEC NGLs, was up by 0.35 mb/d m-o-m in December to average 65.07 mb/d. For 2017, non-OPEC supply is estimated to grow by 0.77 mb/d y-o-y to average 57.79 mb/d, representing a downward revision of 0.04 mb/d from last month’s report, following a downward revision in OECD and DCs by 28 tb/d and 35 tb/d, respectively, while the oil supply forecast for the FSU was revised up by 32 tb/d.

For 2018, y-o-y growth of 1.15 mb/d is forecast, following an upward revision for production in the US, Canada, Mexico and the UK and downward revisions in Norway and Argentina, and showing total supply expected at 58.94 mb/d. In December 2017, OPEC crude oil production increased by 42 tb/d, according to secondary sources, to average 32.42 mb/d. Separately, non-OPEC oil supply growth - mostly shale - in 2017 was revised fractionally lower to 0.77mmbpd.

The non-OPEC supply growth estimation for 2017 has been revised downward by 0.04 mb/d since last month’s assessment to 0.77 mb/d y-o-y, to average 57.79 mb/d. While the oil supply growth estimation for the US, Canada, other OECD Europe and Russia improved, expected growth in Norway, UK, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil has been adjusted down.

The US remains the key driver of non-OPEC supply growth, adding 0.62 mb/d to non-OPEC production in 2017, supported by other countries such as; Canada with 0.32 mb/d, Brazil with 0.17 mb/d, Kazakhstan with 0.18 mb/d, Russia with 0.09 mb/d, Ghana with 0.07 mb/d and Congo with 0.04 mb/d.


Meanwhile, OPEC crude production is projected to hit 33.1mmbpd, some 0.2mmbpd higher than in the previous year. In H2 2018, oil is expected to reach nearly 34mmbpd.

Also notable, OPEC production cut compliance in December is said to have hit a whopping 129% as producers hoped to benefit from higher prices in lieu of (Venezuela's) sliding volume.