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The amount of crude oil making its way from OPEC member countries to the North America dropped in 2018 to an average of 2.813 million barrels per day—a drop of 406,000 barrels per day, or a 12.6-percent decrease from 2017, according to cartel’s 2019 Annual Statistical Bulletin published on Monday.
OPEC’s crude oil exports to Europe also declined, from 4.654 million barrels per day to 4.577 million barrels per day.
OPEC’s overall exports, however, were up overall, although modestly. OPEC crude oil exports for 2018 reached an average of 24.67 million barrels per day—an increase of just 14,000 barrels per day, or a 0.1-percent increase. The largest chunk of OPEC’s crude oil exports—64.3 percent—makes its way to the Asia and Pacific region.
OPEC’s proven crude oil reserves fell by 0.2% to 1.189 trillion barrels at the end of 2018, according to OPEC’s latest figures. Meanwhile, the United States’ crude oil reserves rose from 39 billion barrels to 47 billion barrels. Latin America, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East all saw small dips in their crude oil reserves.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil reserves were pegged at 267 billion barrels, a slight increase from the 266 billion barrels estimated for 2017.
Overall, the world’s total crude oil production in 2018 “increased sharply” according to the cartel, estimating it at 75.78 million barrels per day—a 1.213 million barrel per day increase from 2017---the highest annual growth since 2015. This, despite the OPEC agreement to curb production for 2018. The top producers club includes the United States at an average of 10.53 million barrels per day, Russia at an average of 10.53 million barrels per day, and Saudi Arabia at an average of 10.32 million barrels per day.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.