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Iran Drives OPEC Production Up In March

The latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is out. The charts are “Crude Only” production and do not reflect condensate production.

Also the charts, except for Libya, are not zero based. I chose to amplify the change rather than the total. OPEC is now 13 nations with the addition of Indonesia.

All Data is in thousand barrels per day.

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OPEC production was up 15,000 barrels per day in March. But there has really been very little change since June of 2015.

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OPEC uses secondary sources such as Platts and other agencies to report their production numbers. These numbers are pretty accurate and usually have only slight revisions month to month. The big gainer in March was Iran while the biggest loser was the UAE. Notice that the UAE says their production recovered in March, from their big drop in February. But OPEC’s “Secondary Sources” say they did not, they fell another 100,000 barrels per day.

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Related: Half Of Kuwaiti Oil Production Offline After Massive Strike

Algeria peaked in November 2007 and has been in a steady decline since that point.

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Angola has been holding steady since peaking in 2008 and 2010.

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Ecuador appears to have peaked last year. It is likely production will be down, but only slightly, in 2016.

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Indonesia has shown an increase in recent months but their oil rig count has dropped from 35 in December of 2014 to 10 today. That does not bode well for their future oil production.

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Related: Forget Doha. The Fundamentals Are Moving In The Right Direction

Sanctions were just lifted, in the middle of January, on Iran. Their production was up 208,000 barrels per day in February and another 139,000 bpd in March. I expect their production to be up by from 500 to 600 thousand barrels per day by year’s end. However I believe Iran will be the only OPEC nation with any significant production increase in 2016. Most other OPEC countries will, I believe, be flat to down slightly.

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Iraq, after first going over 4 million barrels per day in June 2015, has struggled to hole that level. I think it is very likely that Iraq has peaked, or at least peaked for several years. Iraq still depends on foreign investment to increase production and that seems to be drying up.

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Kuwait has increased production slightly in the last three months but I don’t expect that trend to continue. Kuwait will take a huge hit in April due to the strike.

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Libya is struggling. Their political problems are getting worse, not better. 

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Related: Oil Prices Up On Weaker Dollar, Declining Production

Nigeria’s problems continue to increase. Their production dropped to 1,722,000 in March, their lowest level since August 2009.

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I believe Saudi is producing every barrel they possibly can. They will be lucky to hold this level for much longer.

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Qatar has lots of natural gas but their oil production has clearly peaked and is now in decline. Their production was unchanged in March.

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I have no idea what is going on in the UAE. After peaking in January they have since dropped 227,000 barrels per day.

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Not much can be said about Venezuela. Their conventional oil is in decline but their bitumen production is keeping production relatively flat. But their political and economic problems are getting worse. I look for them to suffer serious declines in the next year or so.

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According to OPEC, World oil production peaked, so far, in November of 2015. I look for this downward trend to continue for at least the next two years.

By Ron Patterson via Peakoilbarrel.com

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