Platts Survey: OPEC Oil Output Falls 80,000 b/d in March



The 10 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bound by the group's output agreements produced an average 26.54 million barrels per day (b/d) in March, a Platts survey showed April 11. This is down 80,000 b/d from February's 26.62 million b/d but still 740,000 b/d above the group's 25.8 million b/d production target.

Total production from all 12 members, including Iraq which does not participate in OPEC output pacts and Angola which joined the group at the beginning of this year, dipped by 70,000 b/d to 30.11 million b/d, the survey estimated.

"There certainly is no sign that higher prices are leading OPEC producers to put more oil on to the market," said John Kingston, Platts Global Director of Oil. "To the contrary, the steps the group took several months ago to restrain output are still firmly in place. And with the third and fourth quarters, which are historically demand-growth periods, just months away, it won't be long before the group will be confronted with the question of whether to put more oil on to the market."

Among the OPEC-10, there were small output increases from Indonesia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), but Nigeria, following the latest attack on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, saw overall production fall by about 100,000 b/d.

Iraqi volumes were slightly down on February, while Angolan production continued to rise.

OPEC ministers agreed last October to remove 1.2 million b/d of crude from world oil markets beginning in November, saying supply was well in excess of demand and setting a production target of 26.3 million b/d. In December, they agreed to expand the cut by 500,000 b/d from February, bringing the target to 25.8 million b/d. The cuts were based on estimated September production of 27.5 million b/d.

The latest survey shows that the OPEC-10 have cut supply by some 1.27 million b/d since September, when Platts estimates pegged production at 27.81 million b/d.


    Country        March   February   January   December   November   Cut

    Algeria        1.330    1.330      1.340     1.350       1.350   0.084
    Indonesia      0.850    0.840      0.860     0.860       0.860   0.055
    Iran           3.800    3.800      3.850     3.850       3.850   0.249
    Kuwait         2.410    2.410      2.460     2.460       2.460   0.142
    Libya          1.680    1.680      1.690     1.700       1.710   0.102
    Nigeria        2.150    2.250      2.250     2.230       2.230   0.142
    Qatar          0.790    0.790      0.800     0.800       0.800   0.050
    Saudi Arabia   8.600    8.600      8.750     8.790       8.800   0.538
    UAE            2.500    2.490      2.500     2.500       2.550   0.143
    Venezuela      2.430    2.430      2.450     2.460       2.460   0.195
    OPEC-10       26.540   26.620     26.950    27.000      27.070   1.700
    Angola*        1.570    1.550      1.500       N/A         N/A     N/A
    Iraq           2.000    2.010      1.660     1.900       1.990
    Total         30.110   30.180     30.110    28.900      29.060

    * Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.

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