OPEC kept its crude oil production essentially flat in April, just before the OPEC+ alliance is set to raise output by 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May, a Bloomberg survey showed on Tuesday.
The 13 members of OPEC saw their total production at 25.27 million bpd in April, which was around 50,000 bpd lower compared with March, as a reduction in oil supply from Libya, exempted from the cuts, were mostly offset by rising production from another OPEC member exempted from the OPEC+ pact, Iran, the Bloomberg survey found.
Crude oil production from the OPEC+ group is set to grow by over 2 million bpd over the next three months to July.
In early April, OPEC+ decided to gradually increase collective oil production by 350,000 bpd in each of May and June and by more than 400,000 bpd in July. Additionally, Saudi Arabia will also gradually ease its extra unilateral cut of 1 million bpd over the course of the next few months, beginning with monthly production increases of 250,000 bpd in both May and June.
According to the Bloomberg survey, the biggest rises and declines at individual OPEC members in April were seen at two of the oil-producing countries exempted from the pact, Libya and Iran.
Libya’s production fell by 80,000 bpd to 1.14 million bpd. Meanwhile, Iran ramped up its output by 60,000 bpd to 2.41 million bpd, as per the Bloomberg survey of ship-tracking data, estimates from consultancies, and information from officials.
Last week, the monthly Reuters survey showed that OPEC likely raised its oil production in April, driven by another supply increase from Iran. Iran raised its oil production by as much as 200,000 bpd in April compared to March to reach an output of 2.5 million bpd. As a result of Iran’s higher output, the total production of all 13 members of OPEC rose by 100,000 bpd month over month to 25.17 million bpd in April, the Reuters survey showed.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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