Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest crude oil producer in December, when both countries started restricting supplies ahead of agreed cuts with other global producers to curb the worst glut in decades.
Russia pumped 10.49 million barrels a day in December, down 29,000 barrels a day from November, while Saudi Arabia’s output declined to 10.46 million barrels a day from 10.72 million barrels a day in November, according to data published yesterday on the website of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative in Riyadh Capital of Saudi Arabia. That was the first time Russia beat Saudi Arabia since March.
Saudi Arabia and fellow producers from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided at the end of November to restrict supplies by 1.2 million barrels a day for six months starting January 1, with Saudi Arabia instrumental in the plan. Non-member producers, including Russia, pledged additional curbs. Brent crude oil prices have climbed about 20 per cent since the end of November.
The US was the third-largest producer, at 8.8 million barrels a day in December compared with 8.9 million barrels a day in November, according to JODI. Iraq came in fourth at 4.5 million barrels a day, followed by China at 3.98 million barrels a day, the data show.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports declined to 8 million barrels a day in December, from 8.26 million barrels a day, the biggest outflow for any month since May 2003, according to JODI data.