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OPEC’s December Production Up, Not Down: Survey

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased its crude oil production in December, collectively pumping 27.88 million barrels per day, according to a new Reuters survey published on Friday.

OPEC’s production rose by an average of 70,000 barrels per day (bpd), the survey showed, with production increases seen in OPEC’s 2nd largest producer, Iraq, as well as Angola—accounting for 60,000 bpd of the overage. Nigeria also saw a production increase.

The group’s most prolific producer, Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, saw its production decrease.

While OPEC’s crude oil production is up from November to December, it is still 1 million bpd below December 2022.

At their latest meeting, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, led by Russia, agreed to reduce their combined production of crude oil to some 2.2 million barrels daily. Saudi Arabia again agreed to the largest cuts. But production wind-downs are rarely instantaneous and require a bit of a wind-down period. December’s increase could indicate that the group will be unable to comply with its own rates set for January.

To monitor compliance, OPEC+ will hold a Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in early February, media sources revealed earlier this week.

One member who will not face the scrutiny of the JMMC is Angola, who withdrew from OPEC last month in a surprise move, with the country’s minister of natural resources saying that OPEC “no longer aligns with Angola’s values and interests.” Angola’s production quota, according to the latest agreement made in November, was set at 1.11 million bpd, down from the 1.28 million bpd quota that it was supposed to have this year per a prior agreement.

The Reuters survey is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Refinitiv Eikon data, and other sources, including Petro-Logistics, Kpler, oil companies, OPEC itself, and consultants.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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