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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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OPEC Well Completions Dip In 2021

  • OPEC completed less wells in 2021.
  • All major producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and Kuwait saw well completions drop in 2021.
  • In 2021, OPEC’s crude oil production still rose by 700,000 bpd, or by 2.7 percent.

The number of completed wells at OPEC producers dipped by 280 compared to 2020 and stood at 1,588 wells completed in 2021. This was the lowest number of well completions since at least 2017.

All major producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kuwait, saw the number of completed wells drop last year. Well completions rose in Venezuela and Libya, two producers exempted from the OPEC+ production cuts.

While well completions at OPEC producers fell in 2021, the number of total world well completions rose last year by 5,619 to 51,924, according to OPEC’s bulletin.

The number of active drilling rigs at OPEC members, however, rose by 47 in 2020 to 489 last year, with OPEC’s share in world active rigs numbers at 27.7 percent. Globally, the number of active rigs averaged 1,766 last year, up by 460 compared to the slump of 2020, OPEC’s statistical bulletin showed.

In 2021, OPEC’s crude oil production still rose by 700,000 bpd, or by 2.7 percent, compared to 2020. OPEC’s output averaged 26.363 million bpd in 2021.

The volume of OPEC’s average crude oil exports, though, dropped last year, by 40,000 bpd to 19.66 million bpd, remaining below pre-pandemic levels. Most OPEC exports, or 72.4 percent, headed to Asia, followed by Europe, which imported 3.27 million bpd of OPEC crude last year. 

The value of OPEC’s petroleum exports was nearly as high as in the pre-pandemic year 2019, when the cartel’s members saw their combined oil exports hit $561.85 billion, according to data in the bulletin.

The value of petroleum exports of the 13 members of OPEC surged by 77 percent annually to $560.6 billion in 2021 as oil prices increased, OPEC’s Annual Statistical Bulletin 2022 showed on Tuesday.

The value of exports from Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude oil exporter, jumped from $119 billion in 2020 to $202 billion in 2021.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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