OPEC and non-OPEC producer Russia are shielding Asia from supply cuts agreed in a landmark deal last year as they fight to protect their share of the world’s biggest and fastest growing oil market.
Instead, they have reduced deliveries to Europe and the Americas as they implement a coordinated agreement to cut supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), seeking to reduce a global supply glut and lift oil prices.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) oil supplies to Asia rose by 7 percent between November and January, to 17 million bpd, meeting two-thirds of the region’s oil consumption, data from Thomson Reuters Eikon showed.
Under a deal agreed last November, OPEC pledged to cut production by around 1.2 million bpd in the first half of 2017. Other producers, including Russia, pledged to cut another 600,000 bpd.
“For OPEC, and here we mean the Mideast countries, Asia is their core and growing market,” said Tushar Bansal, director at Singapore-based consultancy Ivy Global Energy. “The last thing OPEC … would want is that as they develop newer markets outside the region, some other players like Rosneft or Venezuela increase their market share in what is their backyard.”