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OPEC Oil Production Drops In March

Crude oil production from OPEC declined by 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March compared to February, as operators suspended some production in Kurdistan due to a halt in exports from the Mediterranean and as Angola carried out some field maintenance, the monthly Reuters survey showed on Friday.   

All 13 OPEC members produced 28.90 million bpd in March, according to the survey tracking the supply to the market from tanker tracking providers and sources at consultancies, OPEC, and oil firms.

The 10 OPEC producers part of the OPEC+ pact saw their compliance with the quotas jumping to 173% of pledged cuts in March, up from 169% in February.

The biggest drivers of lower OPEC output were two of the OPEC+ participants, Angola and Iraq.

Angola, which is severely lagging in its production quota anyway, saw output further slip in March due to field maintenance on the Dalia crude stream.

Iraq, for its part, halted on March 25 exports from the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan via a pipeline through Turkey and the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Several foreign oil firms operating in Kurdistan have announced in recent days they were shutting in production as storage has hit capacity while exports are still halted.

Kurdistan’s crude oil exports – around 400,000 bpd shipped through an Iraqi-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan and then on tankers to the international markets – were halted late last week by the federal government of Iraq after the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favor of Iraq against Turkey in a dispute over crude flows from Kurdistan. Iraq had argued that Turkey shouldn’t allow Kurdish oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and Ceyhan without approval from the federal government of Iraq.

Meanwhile, OPEC+ is set to stick to the agreement from October 2022 to cut production by 2 million bpd until 2023, when delegates meet on Monday to discuss the state of the oil market, various sources have suggested.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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