UAE cuts Murban allocations for March by 25%, says Energy Minister

Abu Dhabi is complying with Opec, non-Opec production cuts in 2018

United Arab Emirates' Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei holds a press conference during the 7th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee in Muscat on January 21, 2018.
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh called for extending cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers beyond 2018 after a deal to shore up crude prices. / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED MAHJOUB

The UAE has cut allocations of its Murban crude to customers by 25 per cent for March as the Opec member complies with a global oil output cut that is in place till the end of 2018, Energy Minister said on Tuesday .

"In March, Adnoc [Abu Dhabi National Oil Company] will reduce its Murban crude oil allocation by 25 per cent. Customers have been notified accordingly by Adnoc," Suhail Al Mazrouei, who is also current Opec president, tweeted.

Adnoc's cuts to Murban, the UAE's flagship crude, is one of the highest since compliance with Opec curbs began in 2017.

Opec, which pumps more than a third of the world's oil production, and a group of countries led by Russia have trimmed output by 1.8 million barrels of oil a day since January last year to lift oil prices and lower inventories to the five-year average.

The UAEsaid last month it would cut its crude allocations for February by 20 per cent for Murban grade, 20 per cent for Das and 10 per cent for Upper Zakum. Murban, Das and Upper Zakum are oil-producing fields located offshore of Abu Dhabi.

The Gulf producers of Opec, led by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, over-complied with some of their production cuts last year, even as other producers such as Iraq struggled to maintain compliance in the face of growing demand for oil revenues to mend infrastructure in the war-torn country.

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The UAE, the second largest producer of oil in the Gulf region, pumped 2.878 million barrels per day in December, according to secondary sources cited by Opec in its latest monthly report.

Opec and non-Opec members are mulling an extension of production cuts through 2019 even as they remain wary of an uptick of US shale oil production that has threatened the Gulf producers' traditional market in Asia.