The UAE is likely to produce 2.23 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in January after complying with the latest supply cuts announced by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) that would see its output drop 0.38 per cent during the month, latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA) show.

OPEC announced a 2.2 million bpd output cut for member countries effective January 2009 in a bid to lift tanking oil prices that have slumped to below $50 levels from an all-time high of $147.27 a barrel seen on July 11 last year.

A global financial crisis which took the world into its grip in the second half of 2008, wiped out more than $25 trillion from the financial system and slowed oil demand worldwide. The crisis crashed the oil market.

The UAE produced 2.43 million bpd of crude oil in December, 130,000 bpd higher than in November “amid signs of higher tanker sailings and the expected return of the Umm Shaif and Lower Zakum fields from October/November maintenance,” said the Paris-based IEA, which advises 28 industrialized nations of the world on energy policy.

The UAE’s Ministry of Energy and executives at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), which produces nearly 94 per cent of the country’s oil, were not immediately available for comment on the IEA estimates.

“There was more than a 100 per cent compliance by the UAE in December in line with the November OPEC cuts. As regards January, the compliance with the new OPEC cuts should bring the output down by 376,000 barrels per day from the September baseline, which OPEC used in announcing a total 2.2 million barrel per day cut,” Kate Dourian, Middle East editor of energy information provider, Platts told Gulf News.

“Assuming a similar rate of compliance with the January cut, the UAE’s production in January is expected to fall to a new implied target of 2.226 million barrels per day,” Dourian added.

(Gulf News)