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13 February 2019, 07:06 | Hattie Nash
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The global oil market remains well supplied, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly market report on Wednesday, and output should still outstrip demand this year.
In a monthly report, OPEC said its oil output fell nearly 800,000 barrels per day in January to 30.81 million bpd.
The IEA said that compliance with the so-called Vienna Agreement was 86 percent by OPEC states, with Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait cutting by more than promised. American supply growth this year will exceed Venezuela's total output, the IEA said, another signal that OPEC's efforts to buoy prices may ultimately prove self-defeating.
Kazakhstan increased production, while Azerbaijan only cut 15 percent of what it had promised.
The production cuts from OPEC and its non-OPEC allies, the Saudi overcompliance with the cuts and the pledge to cut even deeper next month, the unplanned outage in Libya's Sharara oil field, and the reduction in Alberta's production are tightening global oil supply, according to the EIA.
OPEC forecast global oil demand would grow by 1.24 million bpd, down 50,000 bpd from last month and weaker than 1.47 million in 2018.
Those fears dissipated after Washington eventually granted waivers allowing several countries to continue to import Iranian oil.
US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, together with OPEC's output cuts, have therefore removed mostly medium and heavy oils from the market, leaving lighter grades relatively unaffected.
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Hopes of a US-China trade deal have lent extra oxygen to crude oil prices in past sessions and this should remain a key driver in the very near term.
In the report, OPEC cut its forecast for 2019 world economic growth by 0.2 percentage point to 3.3 percent and highlighted a range of headwinds, including a slowdown in global trade.
The country's very dense crudes, some of which barely float on water, are complicated to process and sell for a large discount compared to other producers. "Saudi Arabia, are intending to push more barrels into the market to offset shortfalls" of heavier grades of crude, the IEA warned.
Refineries are built to handle a certain quality of crude, and those which process so-called heavy crude from Venezuela, Canada or the Middle East can not be easily converted to treat the light shale oil that is now being produced in greater quantities in the United States.
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