OPEC raised its crude oil production by just 64,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January 2022, well below the 254,000-bpd increase in output allowed under the OPEC+ deal, as OPEC and its allies in the OPEC+ group continue to undershoot quotas and supply fewer barrels to the market than promised.
All 13 members of OPEC—including the three producers exempted from the OPEC+ quotas Iran, Libya, and Nigeria—pumped 27.981 million bpd in January, up by 64,000 bpd from December, according to secondary sources, OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) showed on Thursday.
The biggest increases in crude oil production came from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kuwait, while output declined in OPEC's second-largest producer Iraq, as well as in Venezuela and Libya.
According to the secondary sources that OPEC uses to track its members' production, even top producer Saudi Arabia failed to deliver its 110,000-bpd monthly increase. The Kingdom raised its oil production in January by 54,000 bpd to 9.999 million, below its 10.122 billion bpd quota for January per the OPEC+ deal. However, Saudi Arabia self-reported a much higher production increase last month. Based on direct communication from members, Saudi Arabia boosted its production by 123,000 bpd to 10.145 million, OPEC's monthly report showed.
OPEC and OPEC+ have not been pumping as much as the OPEC+ pact calls for, essentially tightening the market and distorting analyst assumptions about market balances.
For half a year now, OPEC+ has actually added lower volumes to the market each month than the 400,000 bpd nominal monthly increase announced in each of the OPEC+ meetings since August 2021.
OPEC+ was a massive 800,000 bpd behind its overall production quota in January, as the producers in the pact increased output by 260,000 bpd last month, an Argus survey showed on Wednesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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