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OPEC Oil Output Rises

OPEC Oil Output RisesOPEC Oil Output Rises

OPEC crude production rose in March, as Iranian output climbed to the highest level in almost four years.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased production by 64,000 barrels to 33.09 million a day last month, according to a Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. The group set aside its output target of 30 million barrels a day at its Dec. 4 meeting in Vienna. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar tentatively agreed on Feb. 16 to cap production at January levels. They are set to meet with other countries, both in and out of OPEC, in Doha on April 17.

Iranian output rose by 100,000 barrels a day to 3.2 million, the most since May 2012. Sanctions against the nation, which were strengthened in July 2012, were lifted in January.

The Islamic Republic is seeking to regain market share, after sanctions were removed upon the completion of an agreement limiting its nuclear program.

Iraqi production rose by 150,000 barrels a day to 4.35 million in March, according to the survey. OPEC’s second-biggest producer pumped 4.51 million barrels a day in January, the highest level in monthly data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1989.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer, trimmed output by 10,000 barrels a day to 10.19 million.

Financialtribune.com