OPEC output climbs in April

April saw a rise in OPEC’s oil output despite disruptions and sabotage

The Secretary General of OPEC, Dr. Abdalla S. El-Badri
The Secretary General of OPEC, Dr. Abdalla S. El-Badri

The month of April saw an increase in OPEC’s oil output following a three-month low. The production rise has come in spite of disruptions in Africa and facilities sabotage in Iraq, which have kept supply below OPEC’s target.

The largest contributor to the rise in April came from Saudi Arabia, which increased supply due to rising need for crude in domestic power plants. The rise however was hindered by seasonally low demand outside the country.

Supply from OPEC member nations has averaged 29.68 million barrels per day (bpd), up from a revised 29.52 million bpd in March, according to a Reuters survey based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.
The effect of unrest and unplanned supply drops from Iraq and Libya have propped up benchmark Brent crude, which is trading at over $108 per barrel despite the US shale increase and other non-OPEC supply growth.

“Outages in Libya are lending support to Brent prices,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “I don’t expect a timely recovery in Libya, given all the issues,” he said.

Extra barrels from Saudi Arabia and smaller increases from Iraq, Algeria and Libya offset the low supply from Nigeria, Iran and the UAE.

March output was OPEC’s lowest since December, when the group pumped a 2-1/2-year low of 28.90 million bpd, according to Reuters’ surveys.
OPEC production has fallen short of its nominal target of 30 million bpd in every month since October, with the exception of February.

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