OPEC Went Over Production Limit in February

OPEC said on Thursday that its 10 members restricted by quotas pumped 779,000 barrels per day (bpd) above agreed limits in February. Using secondary sources to estimate its own flow rates, the cartel said in a monthly report that crude oil output excluding sanctions-bound Iraq stood at 22.479 million bpd, compared to a a limit of 21.7 million bpd.

During the March 15th meeting in Vienna, OPEC decided to keep production steady until the end of June. OPEC production, including Iraq, fell to 24.926 million bpd in February compared to 24.990 million bpd in January.

The cartel maintained its average demand growth estimate for the whole of 2002 at 350,000 bpd, expecting an average 76.23 million bpd for the year, the report said.

Assuming no change in stocks, the call on OPEC crude this year was revised slightly downwards in February to 25.3 million bpd from 25.4 million bpd in January or about 400,000 bpd above actual February output.