OPEC Output Falls to Lowest

OPEC Output Falls to Lowest
OPEC Output Falls to Lowest

OPEC crude production dropped to the lowest in a year amid the woes facing Venezuela’s oil industry.

Output from 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell by 170,000 barrels to 32.04 million barrels a day in March, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.

That’s the lowest since last April’s 31.9 million barrels a day. Back then, Equatorial Guinea, which pumped 130,000 barrels a day last month, was not part of OPEC.

Iraq has yet to comply with its pledged cuts while Venezuela and Saudi Arabia have over-delivered.

Production in Venezuela declined by 100,000 barrels a day from February to 1.51 million barrels a day, the survey showed.

The International Energy Agency said in its last monthly report that the Latin American nation remains the “biggest risk factor” when it comes to supply disruption amid a “worsening economic crisis”.

Algerian output dropped 40,000 barrels a day to 1 million, the survey found. Some oilfields underwent maintenance last month, shutting down production, a person familiar with the matter said. Crude exports from the North African country also fell to the lowest level in more than two years in March, according to cargo data by Kpler SAS.

Neighboring Libya saw production drop below 1 million barrels a day after some fields were shut down.

Output from Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de-facto leader and its biggest producer, fell 10,000 barrels a day from February to 9.87 million.

OPEC’s efforts to curb production since January 2017 have helped boost oil prices. Brent rallied 5.1% in the first quarter, the third straight quarterly gain, the longest streak since 2011.

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