The biggest producer in OPEC cut output by 111,000 barrels a day last month to 9.9 million a day, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Production had increased in February to 10.011 million barrels a day as the country replenished its own storage tanks.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are leading the agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to curtail oil supplies and end a three-year surplus. Under the accord reached in December, Saudi Arabia pledged to cap its output at 10.058 million barrels a day.
“The Saudis are more than fully complying with the deal,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst, said Tuesday by phone. “This is good news for the market and prices.”
Brent crude, a global benchmark, was down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $55.91 a barrel at 2:39 p.m. in Dubai, after falling as much as 0.5 percent earlier in the day. Prices have dropped 1.6 percent this year.
Saudi Arabia cut back shipments to the U.S. as a result of the lower production, Ramady said. U.S. oil imports from the kingdom declined 24 percent in the week ended March 31, according to Energy Information Administration data. Shipments were 888,000 barrels a day, the smallest since December.