Platts Says OPEC Output Up 130,000 Barrels Per Day in April

OPEC crude production rose by 130,000 barrels per day to average 29.96 million barrels per day (mil b/d) in April, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed April 10. This marks the highest level since October 2004, when the survey estimated total OPEC output at 30.3-mil b/d.

Excluding Iraq, the ten members with crude output quotas pumped an average 28.1-mil b/d in April, up 120,000 b/d from March's 27.98-mil b/d and 600,000 b/d above the OPEC-10 ceiling of 27.5-mil b/d, the survey showed. Increases from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Nigeria and Iraq totaling 180,000 b/d were partly offset by declines in Iranian and Venezuelan production totaling 50,000 b/d.

The biggest single increase came from OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, whose output rose by 100,000 b/d to 9.5-mil b/d. Participants in the survey also noted increased output from Kuwait although they were skeptical of figures in the region of 2.65- to 2.7-mil b/d which have been touted by senior officials in Kuwait. Nigerian and Iraqi volumes also rose, but on a smaller scale.

"Crown Prince Abdullah told George W. Bush that his country would push its output above the current Saudi level of 9.5-mil b/d," said John Kingston, global director of oil at Platts. "We'll wait to see if next month's numbers bear that out."

Iranian production declined by 30,000 b/d to 3.95-mil b/d. Several analysts believe Tehran's production capacity is firmly constrained below the 4-mil b/d mark, and recent OPEC output surveys support that view. The latest survey would appear to put Iran among the ranks of those OPEC members which cannot produce their full quotas, although the gap between Iranian output and its quota looks negligible in comparison with the gap between Indonesian and Venezuelan output and quotas.

Venezuela's output edged down by 20,000 b/d in April to 2.68-mil b/d, 485,000 b/d below its 3.165-mil b/d quota, while Indonesian output was unchanged at 950,000 b/d--475,000 b/d below Jakarta's 1.425-mil b/d quota.

Country-by-country breakdown of production with figures in millions
of b/d:

    Country        Apr 05   Mar 05   Feb 05  Jan 05   Dec 04  Nov 04   Quota

    Algeria        1.300    1.300    1.290   1.290    1.290   1.280    0.878
    Indonesia      0.950    0.950    0.960   0.960    0.960   0.950    1.425
    Iran           3.950    3.980    3.930   3.900    3.900   3.950    4.037
    Iraq           1.860    1.850    1.850   1.850    1.840   1.800      N/A
    Kuwait         2.500    2.450    2.430   2.400    2.420   2.420    2.207
    Libya          1.620    1.620    1.610   1.610    1.630   1.610    1.473
    Nigeria        2.370    2.350    2.350   2.300    2.280   2.380    2.265
    Qatar          0.780    0.780    0.780   0.780    0.800   0.800    0.713
    Saudi Arabia   9.500    9.400    9.250   9.100    9.500   9.500    8.937
    UAE            2.450    2.450    2.450   2.400    2.480   2.480    2.400
    Venezuela      2.680    2.700    2.680   2.700    2.650   2.650    3.165
    Total         29.960   29.830   29.580  29.290   29.750  29.820      N/A
    OPEC 10       28.100   27.980   27.730  27.440   27.910  28.020   27.500
    (excluding
     Iraq)
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