Source: London – Reuters
OPEC oil production in March increased from its lowest levels in more than 10 years recorded last month with Saudi Arabia boosting supplies following the collapse of the OPEC-led supply agreement, offsetting the impact of declines in Libya, Iran and Venezuela.
On average, the 13-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 27.93 million bpd last month, according to survey results, an increase of 90,000 bpd from February’s figure, which remained unchanged.
An agreement between OPEC and other producers, within the framework of what is known as the OPEC + group, collapsed on March 6, accelerating a drop in prices that had already started due to the outbreak of the Corona virus. Brent crude tumbled around $ 22 a barrel, its lowest since 2002.
While Saudi Arabia plans to boost supply after the OPEC + deal collapses, OPEC production has not changed much yet because March production export agreements were already in place, said Petro-Logistics, which tracks oil shipments.
“OPEC’s supply in March is little changed from February, as it hovers around record low levels … March’s barrel allocations were in place when the OPEC + agreement collapsed on March 6,” Petro-Logistics CEO Daniel Gerber told Reuters.
He added: “Perhaps it is the calm before the storm because many OPEC countries announced the increase in supply and exports to the maximum degree in April. Initial indicators show that export rates from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are starting to rise.”
There was agreement between OPEC, Russia and other producers to cut production by 1.7 million barrels per day until March 31 in order to support prices.
The 10 OPEC nations that have signed up to the agreement went further in March, according to the survey. The compliance rate was 106% in March, down from 128% in February.
Production is expected to increase further next month. Saudi Arabia will cut refineries in April to increase export potential, an official said, and plans to ship 10.6 million bpd in May.