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25 April 2024

November oil output drops to one-year low in UAE

The UAE's oil output reached its lowest level in a year. (AFP)

By Nadim Kawach

The UAE reduced its oil production by 265,000 barrels per day in November to push output to its lowest level in a year, official figures showed yesterday.

Reporting its crude production level to the Riyadh-based Joint Oil Data Initiative (Jodi), the UAE said it pumped around 2.297 million bpd in November compared with nearly 2.562 million bpd in October.

The cut was in line with an agreement by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to trim crude supplies to prop up sagging oil prices that have lost more than $100 a barrel since August 2008.

The cut depressed the UAE's crude output to its lowest level since November 2007, when the country's pumped around 2.07 million bpd after Abu Dhabi shut down its offshore Lower Zakum oilfield, the largest producing basin in the UAE. The shutdown for maintenance deprived Abu Dhabi from around 280,000 bpd produced by Lower Zakum, one of the world's largest offshore fields.

The figures by Jodi, which groups more than 100 oil producers and consumers, showed Saudi Arabia reduced its crude output by 914,000 bpd to 8.606 million bpd in November from around 9.52 million bpd in October. Kuwait, another major Opec producer, trimmed its output by nearly 114,000 bpd to 2.565 million bpd from 2.679 million bpd in the same period.

Qatar, a small Opec producer but the world's third-largest gas power, also reduced output by around 42,000 bpd to 790,000 bpd from 832,000 bpd.

Non-Opec Oman boosted production by 47,000 bpd as the Gulf country is pushing ahead with plans to reverse a decline in its oilfields.

The figures showed the collective production cut by the four Gulf members of Opec stood at 1.335 million bpd as they pumped nearly 14.258 million bpd in November compared with 15.593 million bpd in October. Other Opec members also cut their output in November as per an agreement to lower supplies by 1.5 million bpd to support crude prices. The decision followed another agreement in September to cut output by 500,000 bpd while Opec agreed in Algeria last month to slash supplies by 2.2 million bpd from the start of 2009 after prices continued to plunge on weak world demand as a result of the global financial crisis.

The agreement brought to the total pledged cuts to 4.2 million bpd but such a move has failed to lift prices to high levels. Jodi's figures showed Libya cut output to 1.645 million bpd in November from 1.761 million bpd in October, while Algeria reduced it to 1.310 million bpd from 1.391 million bpd. Ecuador slightly reduced supplies to 483,000 bpd from 496,000 bpd in the same period.

Jodi report said Iran, Venezuela and Angola have yet to provide figures on their November output while conflict-battered Iraq, which is outside Opec's quota system, boosted output to 2.41 million bpd from 2.251 million bpd.

Opec pumps just under 40-per cent of the world's crude supplies and controls more than 70-per cent of the recoverable oil deposits. Over two thirds of those reserves are based in the UAE and other Gulf countries.