OPEC+ has found itself in the crosshairs of the global oil industry with its repeated failure to produce to its increasing oil production quota.
But for February, the OPEC+ group has managed to make the biggest gains in oil production in seven months, the latest S&P Global Community Insights survey showed on Wednesday.
OPEC members raised their production in February by a collective 480,000 bpd, reaching 28.67 million barrels per day, while the rest of the OPEC+ group lifted its February crude oil production by 80,000 bpd, to 14.07 million bpd, the survey showed.
Russia's crude oil production accounts for the majority of the non-OPEC members' production.
Combined, OPEC+ produced 560,000 bpd more in February than it did in January, according to the survey. Still, the figures show that 14 members of the group underproduced their quota for the month.
The members responsible for much of the increases are members not bound by the constraints of the production quota agreement: Iran, Libya, and Venezuela.
Ironically enough, the oil industries of those three countries face significant challenges. Iran and Venezuela's oil industry continues to be under sanctions, while Libya's oil industry faces routine volatility as the nation struggles for stability.
A 560,000 bpd increase is still not enough to offset months of the group's underproduction. But it comes at a critical time in an oil market trying to get by without Russian crude—Russian crude that happens to be part of the OPEC+ deal.
The OPEC+ group—including Russia—has also agreed to lift its March production by another 400,000 bpd, but serious questions remain about its available spare capacity. If anything has the power to lull OPEC+ out of its oil production slumber, however, it is today's high crude oil prices.
Oil prices were trading down roughly 5% on Wednesday morning, but Brent was still trading at more than $120 per barrel, up more than $5 in a week.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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