Principal contributors: Eric Han, Candace Dunn
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) monthly data show that OPEC total crude oil production decreased by 6.0 million b/d from April to May, which was the largest monthly production decline since 1993. Compared with January 2020 total petroleum liquids production, partner countries’ output fell by an estimated 5.9 million b/d in May, 7.9 million b/d in June, 7.1 million b/d in July, and 5.6 million b/d in August. OPEC members Iran, Libya, and Venezuela were exempt from the production cut agreement because of economic sanctions or domestic political instability.
EIA estimates that the OPEC+ agreement, along with declines in production elsewhere, including the United States, brought global supply lower than the level of global demand for the first time since mid-2019. Lower supply than demand has resulted in significant global liquid fuels inventory draws since June. EIA expects inventories to continue declining in the second half of 2020 and during most of 2021, resulting in a relatively balanced market by the end of next year, according to EIA’s September 2020 Short-Term Energy Outlook.
More information on the OPEC+ agreement is available in the September 10 edition of EIA’s This Week in Petroleum.