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While OPEC members have cut some 1.2 million barrels of production over the past year (plus a little less than 0.6 mb/d from non-OPEC members), that has not actually translated to the same reduction in exports.
In fact, oil exports from the participating countries remain elevated, undercutting the efficacy of the agreement. The Wall Street Journal says that although OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 mb/d, exports have only declined by 213,000 bpd, as countries sell product from storage or otherwise reduce consumption to leave more oil for export.
Saudi Arabia now wants to change that and its officials are pushing for OPEC to monitor country-level exports at its upcoming meeting on September 22. “The level of exports is the only measurement markets care about,” John Hall, chairman of U.K. consulting firm Alfa Energy, told the WSJ in an interview. “So cutting them will definitely boost oil prices.”
Still, many OPEC members will probably resist the initiative. Saudi Arabia has already unilaterally started to reduce exports in an effort to provide a jolt to the market.