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Reuters Survey Shows OPEC Output Reduced in March

Lower exports from both Iraq and Nigeria, in combination with continuing voluntary supply cuts have resulted in reduced oil production for OPEC in March, according to a Reuters survey published on Monday. Based on the survey data, OPEC output for March was at 26.42 million barrels per day on average, compared to 50,000 bpd for February.  OPEC+, the expanded cartel including Russia, agreed in early March to prolong voluntary oil output cuts from the first quarter into the second quarter of this year. The initial cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day were endorsed by OPEC+ in November.

OPEC+ has been implementing successive output reductions since late 2022 to stabilize the market amidst heightened production from non-member producers like the United States, coupled with concerns regarding demand due to elevated interest rates in major economies.

On Wednesday this week, OPEC+ ministers will meet to review, with analysts not expecting any changes ahead of the full OPEC+ meeting scheduled for June 1.

The Reuters survey showed the largest drops in output in March coming from Iraq and Nigeria. In February, Iraq was producing oil at a rate open its OPEC quota and had pledged to reduce output for March, while in Nigeria, exports have fallen due to the launch of a new Nigerian refinery that is taking in more product domestically.

The survey also noted that total OPEC production for March came in 190,000 below quota, with Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) maintaining output in line with quotas.

The survey indicated that Iran is pumping oil at a five-year high despite U.S. sanctions.

In a recent exclusive interview with Oilprice.com, HE Haitham Al Ghais, OPEC Secretary General, reaffirmed his organization’s position on long-term oil demand.

Last fall, when it released its World Oil Outlook (WOO), OPEC upped its long-term forecast for global oil demand to its highest level ever, predicting an increase of 23% from 2022 to reach 116 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2045.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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