Saudi Arabia kept oil exports steady in December under OPEC+ agreement: Official

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Saudi Arabia kept oil exports steady last month as it continued to implement an OPEC+ agreement aimed at stabilizing world crude markets, according to an official from the kingdom.

Riyadh shipped approximately 7.21 million barrels a day in December, unchanged from November levels, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject. The kingdom produced just below its OPEC+ target of 10.48 million barrels a day, the official said.

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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners — an alliance led by the Saudis known as OPEC+ — announced substantial supply cutbacks late last year to steady oil markets against a deteriorating economic backdrop.

The curbs have helped balance prices amid fears of recession in the US and an uneven economic reopening in China. In the first trading days of this year, oil prices have shown further weakness, with global benchmark Brent slipping 4 percent on Wednesday below $79 a barrel.

A panel formed of key nations in the OPEC+ alliance is due to hold a monitoring meeting on Feb. 1. In the meantime, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has said the group will remain “pre-emptive to keep the crude market in equilibrium.

Tanker-tracking by Bloomberg showed similar figures for Saudi exports in December, with an average of 7.25 million barrels a day for the month.

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