OPEC Output Dips as Nigeria and Iraq Scale Back Exports

Oil Price Falls To $70 Per Barrel Ahead Of OPEC+ Meeting

In March, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) witnessed a significant drop in oil production, largely attributed to reduced crude oil exports from key members Nigeria and Iraq.

According to a Reuters survey released on Monday, OPEC’s crude oil output in March experienced a decline compared to February figures. This reduction reflects lower exports from Iraq and Nigeria, occurring amidst ongoing voluntary supply cuts by certain members as agreed upon within the wider OPEC+ alliance.

Meanwhile, industry data indicated a rise in the price of Brent crude, the global benchmark, reaching $87.92 per barrel around 6 pm Nigerian time. This increase of $0.95 or 1.1 percent on Monday was linked to the diminished supply from producers.

The survey revealed that OPEC pumped approximately 26.42 million barrels per day in March, marking a decrease of 50,000 barrels per day compared to February. This information, sourced from shipping data and industry insiders, underscores the impact of production adjustments within OPEC.

Notably, Iraq and Nigeria registered the most significant output reductions in March. Iraq had pledged to lower exports to offset its previous overproduction, committing to reducing shipments by 130,000 barrels per day from February levels. However, the survey noted that the 50,000 barrels per day cut in March suggests further action is necessary to fulfill this commitment in subsequent months.

Similarly, Nigerian production saw a decline, with exports dropping even more sharply due to increased activity at the Dangote refinery. Despite these reductions, OPEC fell short of its targeted cuts by approximately 190,000 barrels per day in March, primarily due to higher-than-planned production from Iraq, Nigeria, and Gabon.

Among Gulf producers, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates maintained output close to their voluntary targets, while Algeria also adhered to its commitments. However, Iran, exempt from quotas, experienced a slight decrease in output, while Libya, another exempt member, increased production by 20,000 barrels per day as it recovered from disruptions in February.

The Reuters survey, compiled from various sources including shipping data, industry reports, and insider information, provides insights into OPEC’s supply dynamics and the broader oil market landscape.

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