Three countries responsible for more than half of OPEC's planned production cuts exported at or near records through the end of 2016, according to Matt Smith, director of commodity research at tanker-tracking firm ClipperData.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to reduce their combined output by 756,000 barrels a day from October levels. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in November agreed to take 1.2 million barrels a day off the market in a bid to reduce huge stockpiles of crude that have built up in recent years.
More than two years of low oil prices sparked a battle for market share among OPEC members. Record-high export levels through the end of 2016 show that battle continued to the very last day of the year, Smith said.