Venezuela's May Daily Output Flat at 2.37Mb/d

Venezuela's average daily oil production remained unchanged in May from April at 2.37Mb/d, El Universal reported, citing figures from Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

Production in May was slightly lower than the first quarter average of 2.44Mb/d and 2.5Mb/d in 4Q06, the newspaper reported.

IEA reported Venezuela's total capacity at 2.6Mb/d.

Venezuela's energy minister and president of state oil company PDVSA Rafael Ramirez, meanwhile, said the country has just cut its oil production 195,000b/d, the same newspaper reported in a separate article.

Ramirez said that the cut was in line with an agreement reached recently with OPEC.

The minister said that production had been reduced in the Orinoco belt and in the western Boscan field, the report said.

The company announced in May that the four projects in the Orinoco belt were producing 482,000b/d and had total capacity of 570,000b/d.

OPEC production in May fell 425,000b/d to 30.07Mb/d.

IEA said the reduction was mostly involuntary and a result of events in Iraq and Nigeria. PDVSA says geopolitical tensions and a lack of refining capacity in the US are responsible for the current spike in oil prices.

OPEC, of which Venezuela is a member, has taken 1.2Mb/d off the market since September despite seeking to cut output 1.7Mb/d, the report said.

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