OPEC’s crude oil production fell by 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February, due to the extra cut from top producer and de facto leader Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) showed on Thursday.
According to secondary sources, which OPEC considers legitimate for measuring production and compliance, total oil production averaged 24.85 million bpd in February 2021, a drop by 650,000 bpd compared to January.
Crude oil production increased in all three OPEC members exempted from the OPEC+ cuts – Iran, Libya, and Venezuela, the MOMR showed.
But the biggest production increase came from Nigeria, which boosted output by 161,000 bpd to 1.488 million bpd.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and an OPEC member that has struggled with compliance with the cuts, saw its production rise last month after ExxonMobil lifted a more than a month-long force majeure on the Qua Iboe crude oil export terminal at the end of January.
Iran’s oil production rose by 35,000 bpd, and Libya’s output increased by 33,000 bpd to 1.186 million bpd. Production also rose in Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, by 59,000 bpd to 3.898 million bpd.
Those increases offset part of the pledged Saudi cut of 1 million bpd beyond its OPEC+ quota. Secondary sources showed that Saudi Arabia was close to reaching the 1-million-bpd extra cut in February as the Kingdom’s production dropped by 930,000 bpd from January to 8.15 million bpd.
The Saudis will be keeping the extra cut not only in March but also in April.
Last week, the OPEC+ group surprised the market by deciding not to lift production from April, leaving only small exemptions to non-OPEC producers Russia and Kazakhstan. So from April, not only will the alliance, for the most part, keep production unchanged—with the exception of Russia boosting output by 130,000 bpd and Kazakhstan by 20,000 bpd—but Saudi Arabia will also keep its extra cut into next month.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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