Saudi Arabia's reduction in oil supply was a key driver of a drop in global inventories during December, although the Gulf nation's efforts were blunted by increases from other Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries constituents, the International Energy Agency said. In its closely watched oil-market report, the IEA said a drop of 200,000 barrels a day in Saudi supply - to 9.68 million barrels a day - along with a seasonal drop in biofuel production drove a 780,000 barrel a day decline in global supplies. Elsewhere in its report, the IEA left its global oil-demand growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 unchanged at 1 and 1.2 million barrels a day, and also held its non-OPEC supply growth forecast for 2020 at 2.1 million barrels a day. The agency slightly increased its non-OPEC supply growth estimate for 2019 by around 100,000 barrels a day to 2 million barrels a day. The IEA pointed out that the decision by OPEC and its allies to deepen production cuts - taken last month - will only take effect in January, meaning Saudi Arabia's production curtailment came regardless of the cartel's heated summit in Vienna in which Saudi delegates made examples of under-complying nations for shirking their responsibilities.
By Ipek Ozkardeskaya