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OPEC’s December Production Jumped, But Remains Below Target

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries increased its December production, according to the most recent Monthly Oil Market Report published on Tuesday.

OPEC-13’s average December production rose by 91,000 barrels per day, according to the MOMR, to 28.971 million bpd, with nearly all of the gains coming from Nigeria.

Nigeria’s crude oil production rose by 91,000 bpd in December to 1.267 million bpd, with production also rising in Angola (+42,000 bpd), Iran (+9,000 bpd), Libya (+17,000 bpd), Saudi Arabia (+4,000 bpd), and Venezuela (+13,000 bpd).

Venezuela’s production increase comes as Chevron was granted an expansion of its license to export curde oil to the United States for use in its or other refineries.

Kuwait’s crude oil production fell sharply, by 35,000 bpd. Other losses were seen in Algeria(-11,000 bpd), Congo (-18,000 bpd), Equatorial Guinea (-1,000 bpd), Gabon (-6,000 bpd), Iraq (-4,000 bpd), and the UAE (-9,000 bpd).

While Saudi Arabia’s production based on secondary sources increased in December 2022 at 10.478 million bpd, direct reported figures by Saudi Arabia show a production loss of 32,000 bpd, to 10.435 million bpd. Nigeria’s directly reported production gains were more modest than secondary source reporting, at just 50,000 bpd, to 1.235 million bpd.

According to the MOMR, OPEC’s share of global crude oil production “remained unchanged at 28.5% in December, compared with the previous month.”

A Reuters survey published in early January estimated that OPEC-13’s December production grew by 120,000 bpd over the previous month, at 29 million bpd. Bloomberg’s survey showed that the group’s production increased by an even larger amount of 150,000 bpd.

December’s OPEC-10 production is still substantially below the production quota, with the group underproducing by more than 800,000 barrels per day.

While Nigeria saw impressive production gains in December, it is still the biggest laggard in the group.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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