Platts: OPEC Pumped 29.1MM Bopd in December

OPEC's crude oil production rose to 29.1 million barrels per day (bopd) in December, an increase of 160,000 bopd from an estimated November level of 28.94 million bopd, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts showed Tuesday.

"While OPEC members agreed to uphold their individual quotas at the December 17 meeting, one has to wonder if that commitment will hold in the wake of oil prices that have traded between $70- and $80 per barrel, levels that Saudi Arabia's oil minister thinks are fairly 'perfect'," said John Kingston, Platts Global Director of Oil and News.

Excluding Iraq, the 11 OPEC members bound by production quotas pumped an average 26.61 million bopd in December, 120,000 bopd more than estimated November output of 26.49 million bopd, the survey found.

Angola, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased output by a collective 180,000 bopd, with the biggest single increase coming from Nigeria, whose volumes rose by 100,000 bopd, the survey estimated. Iranian output fell by 20,000 bopd.

The latest estimates leave the OPEC-11 exceeding its 24.845 million bopd target by 1.765 million bopd.

Compliance with the pledged cuts of 4.2 million barrels per day agreed in late 2008 has been declining since April 2009 alongside a broad firming of oil prices. Having peaked at near 82% in March 2009, compliance fell to 58% in December.

OPEC ministers are scheduled to meet next on March 17 in Vienna.