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OPEC Output Rises as Libya Recovers and Oil Supply Cuts Stagnate - BLOOMBERG

MARCH 03, 2024

Grant Smith, Julian Lee and Anthony Di PaolaBloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- OPEC increased oil production last month as Libya restarted its biggest field, while other members faltered in the delivery of new cutbacks.

The group’s output rose by 110,000 barrels a day to 26.68 million a day, according to a Bloomberg survey, as the North African nation ramped up the Sharara field, which was closed earlier in the year due to protests. 

Iraq pared supplies slightly but, along with the United Arab Emirates, continued to pump above a new quota set at the start of the year. 

Led by Saudi Arabia, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies pledged new production curbs for this quarter in a bid to avert a global surplus and prop up prices. The measures have helped offset soaring output from the Americas while easing concerns over a slowdown in global oil demand growth, buoying prices near $80 a barrel.

Several delegates predict that OPEC+ will extend the curbs into the second quarter, and analysts say an announcement may come within days. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has said the measures can “absolutely” be prolonged.

Still, the organization may first need to improve its implementation.

Iraq and the UAE collectively pumped almost 400,000 barrels a day above their agreed limits in February, according to the Bloomberg survey. Baghdad, seeking to rebuild its economy, has had a patchy track record of compliance for years.

In the wider coalition, Kazakhstan also exceeded its quota, while Russia’s delivery of its reductions — a confusing combination of cuts to the production and export of crude oil and refined products — was ambiguous. 

Both Iraq and Kazakhstan have promised to improve their performance, and even compensate for initial excessive production with additional curbs. 

Libya’s production increased by 120,000 barrels a day to 1.14 million a day in February, according to the survey. Iraq reduced by 40,000 a day to 4.16 million a day, while the UAE was steady at 3.14 million a day. 

Bloomberg’s survey is based on ship-tracking data, information from officials and estimates from consultants, including Kpler Ltd., Rapidan Energy Group and Rystad Energy A/S.

--With assistance from Bill Lehane, Andrew Reierson, Verity Ratcliffe, Fabiola Zerpa and John Deane.


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