Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) crude oil production output averaged 29.21 million barrels per day (b/d) in April, 90,000 b/d lower than the 29.3 million b/d estimated for March, according to a just-released Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.
Excluding Iraq, which does not participate in OPEC output agreements, the 11 members bound by quotas (OPEC-11) increased output by 40,000 b/d to 26.89 million b/d in April from 26.85 million b/d in March, the survey showed.
Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increased production by a combined 70,000 b/d, but this volume was more than offset by decreases totaling 160,000 b/d from Iraq and Angola.
Iraqi supply was down by about 130,000 b/d as bad weather hit exports.
"If it were not for Mother Nature disrupting Iraqi exports, there might have been another 100,000 b/d on the market, and it's a market that is showing signs of a continuing overhang in crude supply," said John Kingston, Platts global director of news. "OPEC is producing well over what the International Energy Agency says is the demand for OPEC oil needed to keep markets stable, and that excess is going into inventory. The stock build is showing up in statistics, and it is showing up in prices. It is a challenge OPEC may be facing for several months, and it isn't scheduled to meet to talk about it until October."
The latest estimates show that the OPEC-11 overproduced their now largely notional 24.845 million b/d target by 2.05 million b/d.
This target, based on output cuts totaling 4.2 million b/d and agreed upon in late 2008, has been in place since January 2009. Compliance, which peaked at nearly 82% in March 2009, was relatively high initially but diminished as oil prices rose. The latest estimates suggest an overall compliance rate of just 51.3% last month.
OPEC ministers last met in March, when they rubber-stamped the existing agreement, and are next scheduled to meet on October 14 in Vienna.
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