The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saw a sharp decline in its global crude export in 2020, following disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to available data, OPEC member countries exported an average of 19.70 million barrels a day, mb/d of crude oil in 2020, a sharp decrease of about 2.78 mb/d, or 12.4 per cent compared to 2019.
That drop also marked the fourth consecutive annual decline recorded by the group.
Following the pattern in previous years, the bulk of crude oil from OPEC Member Countries, 14.43 mb/d or 73.2 per cent was exported to Asia, particularly China and India.
Considerable volumes of crude oil about 3.13 mb/d were also exported to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Europe in 2020, which, however, represents a decline compared with 3.74 mb/d recorded in 2019.
The OECD Americas imported 0.84 mb/d of crude oil from OPEC Member Countries, which was about 0.38 mb/d, or 31.1 percent, less than the 2019 volumes.
Exports of petroleum products from OPEC member countries averaged 3.48 mb/d during 2020, down by around 0.40 mb/d, or 10.4 per cent, compared to 2019, while import of petroleum products by OPEC member countries averaged at 1.52 mb/d in 2020, roughly 0.17 mb/d, or 9.8 per cent, lower than in 2019.
However, world proven crude oil reserves stood at 1,549 billion barrels at the end of 2020, increasing by 0.2 per cent from the level of 1,546 billion barrels recorded at the end of 2019, according to the 2021 edition of its Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB).
Proven crude oil reserves in OPEC member countries increased by 0.3 per cent to 1,237 billion barrels at the end of 2020, following a firm increase during 2019.
At the end of 2020, world proven natural gas reserves fell by 0.4 per cent to approximately 206.7 trillion standard cubic metres (cubic meters). Proven natural gas reserves in OPEC member countries stood at 73.74 trillion standard cubic meters at the end of 2020, down by 1.4 per cent from the level at the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, OPEC last week launched the 2021 ASB via videoconference.
The launch was attended by OPEC secretary general, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo; Professor Thomas Lindner of the executive academy at the Vienna University of Economics and Business; as well as members of management at the secretariat.