UAE oil output to be cut by more than 139,000 b/d in March/April

UAE Oil Minister
United Arabic Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei

UAE oil output cut part of OPEC supply pact

United Arabic Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei says the UAE oil output reduction of 139,000 b/d in March and April will meet the Gulf country’s commitment to the OPEC supply cut deal.

“UAE production cut for March and April will be more than 139,000 bpd due to the maintenance activities, which means more than 100 percent compliance,” Suhail al-Mazrouei tweeted.

“(The) UAE is committed to its share of the production cut agreed with OPEC.”

The UAE, among the core Gulf OPEC group that traditionally shows high compliance with output agreements, has focused on expanding its production capacity in the last few years.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pledged to curb its production by about 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1, the first cut in eight years, to boost prices and get rid of a supply glut.

Compliance with output restrictions has often been a problem for OPEC in the past but this time the group delivered reductions amounting to as much as 90 percent of the target in the first month alone.

The UAE has delivered a smaller portion of its pledged reduction, based on its own figures and OPEC output estimates by government agencies, consultants and industry media.

Under the OPEC deal, the UAE was to cut production to 2.874 million bpd. It told OPEC it produced 3.06 million bpd in January, and a Reuters survey estimated its output at 2.98 million bpd.

Still, officials and industry sources say the UAE will try to move closer to its target in the coming months, improving average compliance during the six-month duration of the supply cut rather than focusing on month-by-month performance.

Oilfield maintenance could help to push compliance higher. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has work planned at oilfields in March and May, people familiar with the matter said.

ADNOC said on Thursday it had informed customers of cuts in crude allocations for March and April.

In March, only Upper Zakum crude grade will be cut by 5 percent, while in April both the Murban and Das grades will be reduced by 5 percent, and Upper Zakum by 3 percent, it said in a letter to customers dated March 6 and received by Reuters on Thursday.