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OPEC Slightly Increases Oil Production in March

OPEC Slightly Increases Oil Production in March

Apr 11, 2024

OPEC Slightly Increases Oil Production in March

In a recent report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) disclosed a marginal increase in crude oil production for March 2023. The cumulative output from the 12 OPEC members, including those exempt from OPEC+ production cuts, was reported to have edged up by 3,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared to February.

The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) released on Thursday revealed an average production of 26.60 million bpd in March. The slight uptick in production is attributed to increased output from Iran and Saudi Arabia, with smaller hikes from Gabon and Kuwait. Conversely, Nigeria, Iraq, and Venezuela saw a drop in their production levels.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's leading producer, augmented its production by 20,000 bpd, reaching 9.037 million bpd in March. This adjustment aligns with Saudi Arabia's commitment to an additional voluntary cut of 1 million bpd, maintaining a production level of "around 9 million bpd" until the end of the first half of the year.

Despite a reduction in output, Iraq, the second-largest OPEC producer, continued to exceed its production quota. It reportedly pumped approximately 200,000 bpd more than its pledged limit of 4 million bpd. According to secondary sources cited in the OPEC report, Iraq's output decreased by 23,000 bpd from February, averaging 4.194 million bpd in March.

Iran, which is not subject to the OPEC+ cuts due to sanctions, is said to have increased its oil production to 3.188 million bpd in March, marking a rise of 28,000 bpd from the previous month.

Following a meeting last week, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of OPEC+ did not recommend any changes to the current output policy. However, it emphasized the need for enhanced compliance with the agreed production cuts. Iraq has been notably identified as the major member not fully adhering to its quota.

In response to concerns over compliance, Iraq's Oil Minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani reaffirmed the country's commitment in February, stating that Iraq would adhere to its voluntary reduction and cap production at no more than 4 million bpd as per the OPEC+ agreement.

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