OPEC output slipped by around 160,000 b/d to average 30.23mn b/d in January, contributing in part to the recent rally in oil prices from near six-year lows last month. This fall in the group’s supply came despite a combined 210,000 b/d increase in oil output from Arab Gulf heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, in yet another sign that they will not cut back production to prop up oil markets.

The producer group, led by its biggest and most influential member Saudi Arabia, decided against lowering its output target at its latest meeting on 27 November, in favor of consolidating its market share in the face of rising non-OPEC production. This decision pulled the price of Brent down to a four-year low of $71/B by end-November, and to $46.50/B on 13 January. (CONTINUED - 1089 WORDS)