Vessels last month carried about 534,000 bpd from Saudi Arabia to the United States, down from 632,000 bpd in November. Algeria sent 10,000 bpd, down 94,000 bpd, and Nigeria shipped 103,000 bpd, down by 48,000 bpd, according to Kpler.
One major exception to the decline was Iraq, which sent 295,000 bpd to the United States, up by 140,000 bpd from November.
Reuters quoted analysts as saying that Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in OPEC, and several others curbed supplies in the face of rising U.S. production and inventories. It came amid worries about global oversupply that were partly triggered by a U.S. energy agency forecast saying that oil production from seven major American shale basins is expected to surpass 8 million barrels per day by the end of the year.More news: Suspected Ebola patient isolated at Swedish hospital
Now that fresh cuts by the so-called OPEC+ coalition are planned for the first half of 2019 - with Russian Federation agreeing to remove 228,000 barrels a day - the government aims to repeat that success, according to Marinchenko. "Until we see more evidence that fundamentals in the market are not as weak as some think, I think we're going to keep feeling that pressure".
"Well, J.P. Morgan said prior to the OPEC meeting early December, that if OPEC didn't really cut by more than around 1.2 million barrels per day, and they did just for the first half, (not) for the full year, that we could gravitate toward. our low-oil-price scenario, which is $55 Brent for 2019", JP Morgan's Scott Darling told CNBC on Wednesday.
US commercial crude stocks rose to 441 million barrels in the week ended December 21, up from 394 million barrels in mid-September, according to the US Energy Information Administration.More news: China confirms trade talks with USA beginning Monday
China issued its first batch of crude import quotas for 2019 yesterday at a lower volume than for the same batch a year ago, though expectations are for the volumes to climb later this year. With the rise of U.S. shale, the United States has cut its thirst for foreign crude oil from 262.8 million barrels per month in January 2017 to 226.6 million in October 2018-the last month for which there is data, according to the EIA.
The country's oil exports averaged 1.9 million bpd in 2018, about twice the amount that was exported in 2017.
Although the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have pledged substantial output curbs to prevent an oil surplus from forming this year, investors' skepticism helped drive prices to an nearly 40 percent decline to end 2018.More news: Harden's 43 points, triple-double lead Rockets over Memphis | AP sports