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Angola’s state-held oil firm Sonangol plans to load 1.51 million barrels per day in March under its finalized exports schedule, down from plans to export 1.62 million bpd in February, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a copy of the loading program it had seen.
Some dates for shipping crude have been altered, but the March volumes are the same as released in the loading schedule from ten days ago, Reuters said.
Most of the oil in the March schedule is already traded and a large part of it is bound for Asia, where demand for medium and heavy crude grades is solid.
An OPEC member and one of Africa’s biggest producers, Angola pledged to cut 78,000 bpd of its production as part of the cartel’s deal to curtail supply in the hope of rebalancing the oil market and lifting crude oil prices.
Early this month, Sonangol said that it had cut crude production by 78,000 bpd to 1.673 million bpd as part of the OPEC agreement.
Angola, whose economy has heavily suffered from the oil price bust, is now complying with the OPEC deal, hoping that prices will go up. Oil output and supporting activities make up around 45 percent of Angola’s GDP, and oil accounts for more than 95 percent of the country’s exports, OPEC’s facts and figures show.
For a few months last year, Angola was Africa’s largest oil producer after Nigeria’s output had crumbled due to the militant attacks in the Niger Delta.
Related: Iran To Export More Oil In February
But OPEC’s recent production figures show that Nigeria is regaining its status as Africa’s top oil producer. By November 2016, Nigeria managed to increase its oil production to nearly 1.8 million bpd, according to OPEC direct communication figures. Secondary sources in the OPEC report pegged Nigeria and Angola’s output at 1.692 million bpd each, while self-reported figures showed that Nigeria produced 1.782 million bpd against Angola’s 1.688 million bpd.
OPEC’s latest available production figures for December 2016 show that Angola’s output was 1.724 million bpd while Nigeria lagged behind with 1.542 million bpd, according to secondary sources. In direct communication, Nigeria bragged about output of 1.940 million bpd, while Angola reported production of 1.639 million bpd.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.