OPEC slashed production in December, delivering a bullish signal to the market one month before the producer group officially began a fresh round of output cuts.
Last month, OPEC struck a deal with Russia and nine other nations to keep 1.2 million barrels per day off the market starting in January. The so-called OPEC+ alliance is trying to prevent another price-crushing oil glut. The cost of crude collapsed in the final quarter of 2018, stirring memories of the punishing 2014-2016 downturn.
The 14-nation OPEC got a jump on the agreement in December. Oil supplies from OPEC nations plunged by 751,000 barrels per day to nearly 31.6 million bpd, according to independent figures cited by OPEC in its monthly report.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia was the driving force behind the headline decline. The kingdom's output plunged by 468,000 bpd to just over 10.5 million bpd last month, independent figures show. Data supplied directly by Riyadh show a 450,000 bpd drop to slightly more than 10.6 million bpd.