Platts Survey: OPEC-10 Oil Output Up 70,000 b/d in May

The 10 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bound by the group's output agreements produced an average 26.64 million barrels per day (b/d) in May, a Platts survey showed June 8. This is an increase of 70,000 b/d from April's 26.57 million b/d and is above the group's production targets.

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, rose by 100,000 b/d to 30.29 million b/d from April's 30.19 million b/d, the survey showed.

Increases from Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Angola totaling 190,000 b/d were partly offset by 90,000 b/d in decreases from Nigeria, where some shut-in production was restored as other outages occurred, and Iraq.

"The good news for consumers is that higher prices do appear to be spurring concurrent increases in production. But the bad news remains the continuing situation in Nigeria, where production is down again, largely due to continued rebel activity in the Niger Delta," said John Kingston, Platts global director of oil. "The loss of several hundred thousand barrels a day of production from that key country is going to provide support to prices for the foreseeable future."

The May average of 26.64 million b/d for the OPEC-10 leaves them overproducing their 25.8 million b/d target by some 840,000 b/d.

OPEC agreed late last year to remove a total 1.7 million b/d from actual oil supply. At a meeting in Vienna in March, it decided to maintain the 25.8 million b/d target output level for the OPEC-10 and not to meet again until September 11.

The West's energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency, has urged OPEC to boost supply so as to allow depleted consumer oil stocks to build. But OPEC officials have insisted that there is no shortage of crude and that oil prices have risen because of a host of other factors, including concerns about the adequacy of summer gasoline supplies in the US, the ongoing situation in the Niger Delta which has resulted in large volumes of crude production being shut in, and geopolitics.

On Tuesday, OPEC Secretary General Abdalla el-Badri said OPEC would only raise official limits if it saw changes in fundamentals, including a "constant" draw in consumer oil inventories and oil prices at high levels for a sustained period.

    Country          May    April   March   February    January        Cut

    Algeria        1.350    1.330   1.330      1.330      1.340      0.084
    Indonesia      0.840    0.840   0.850      0.840      0.860      0.055
    Iran           3.850    3.800   3.800      3.800      3.850      0.249
    Kuwait         2.420    2.410   2.410      2.410      2.460      0.142
    Libya          1.680    1.680   1.680      1.680      1.690      0.102
    Nigeria        2.130    2.200   2.150      2.250      2.250      0.142
    Qatar          0.800    0.790   0.790      0.790      0.800      0.050
    Saudi Arabia   8.610    8.600   8.600      8.600      8.750      0.538
    UAE            2.540    2.500   2.500      2.490      2.500      0.143
    Venezuela      2.420    2.420   2.430      2.430      2.450      0.195
    OPEC-10       26.640   26.570  26.540     26.620     26.950      1.700
    Angola*        1.630    1.580   1.570      1.550      1.500        N/A
    Iraq           2.020    2.040   2.000      2.010      1.660
    Total         30.290   30.190  30.110     30.180     30.110

    *  Platts estimates
    ** Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.