Global oil supply overshadowing overall oil demand in the world put OPEC in a difficult situation during the oil price slump years of 2014 through 2016, OPEC Conference president said Thursday.
"Three years ago, the oil market was in a perilous condition," Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez said during a speech at the beginning of a meeting of the OPEC Conference in Vienna.
In that time, the world oil supply grew by 5.8 million barrels per day (bpd), outpacing the oil demand growth that was 4.3 million bpd, said Fernandez.
"By July 2016, the OECD commercial stock overhang reached a record high of about 403 million barrels over the five-year industry average," he said, adding crude oil prices fell around 80% during the three-year period.
Fernandez's comments came as OPEC admits the difficult situation it finds itself in with crude prices under pressure from a rising glut of supply in the global market once again.
After surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia in November 2018, the U.S. has become the world's largest crude producer, due to rapid rise in its shale oil output.
The U.S.'s crude output reached a record level of 12.9 million bpd for the week ending Nov. 22, according to data from the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The latest level shows an increase of almost 160% from 2008 when the U.S.'s crude output was at 5 million bpd, according to the EIA.
While the EIA estimates U.S. crude increasing to average 13.3 million bpd in 2020, OPEC members are trying to protect market share as well.
A deeper production cut by OPEC to raise prices, however, would lead to more market loss to U.S. shale.
By Ovunc Kutlu in Vienna