OPEC output rise in March falls short of pledged increase – Reuters

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — OPEC’s increased oil output in March fell short of its target under a deal with allies, Reuters reported.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped 28.54 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, a Reuters survey found, up 90,000 bpd from February but short of the 253,000 bpd increase called for under its deal with allies including Russia.

OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, are gradually relaxing 2020 output cuts as demand recovers from the pandemic. OPEC+ met on Thursday and confirmed previously agreed plans, despite the surge in oil prices to a 2008 high above $139 a barrel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The deal calls for a 400,000 bpd increase in March from all OPEC+ members, of which about 253,000 bpd is shared by the 10 OPEC producers the agreement covers, according to Reuters.

Output undershot the pledged increases from October to January, but exceeded it in February, Reuters said, as many producers lack the capacity to pump more crude due to insufficient investment, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.

As a result, the 10 OPEC members are pumping far less than called for under the deal. OPEC compliance with pledged cuts was 151%, the survey found, versus 136% in February.

Nigeria and Libya Drop

Nigerian output posted a 100,000 bpd decline, according to Reuters, after incidents prompted force majeure to be declared on the Bonny and Brass River streams. Force majeure was lifted on Brass River.

Libyan output declined by 50,000 bpd due to shutdowns at two oilfields early in the month.

These outages limited the increase in OPEC’s output by top producers. The biggest rise in March of 110,000 bpd came from Saudi Arabia, the survey found.

Kuwait and Iraq each provided smaller increases of 30,000 bpd while the United Arab Emirates added 10,000 bpd.

Iran, exempt from making output cuts, has been shipping more to China in recent months although there was no significant change in its output in March, the survey found, as talks on reviving its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers continue.

Production in Venezuela, another exempt producer, continued to edge higher.

Production did not increase in Equatorial Guinea or Gabon, the survey found, owing to a lack of capacity to produce more.

The Reuters survey aims to track supply to the market. It is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Refinitiv Eikon flows data, information from tanker trackers such as Petro-Logistics, as well as information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.

(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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