LONDON, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts – Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) totaled 29.72 million barrels per day (b/ds) in April, up 160,000 b/d from March, led by increases in Iraq, Angola and Saudi Arabia, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.
"There are a few striking numbers when you look at the country totals," said John Kingston, Platts global director of news. "First, when there were the first signs of a loosening of Iranian sanctions, the expectation was that there might be a surge in Iranian output. But the country's output has barely budged. Secondly, every so often there's news out of Libya that indicates the country might be headed toward reversal of its depressed production. But April output is the lowest it's been all year. It's these sorts of numbers that help to keep world prices above $100/barrel."
Iraq, despite the continued suspension of pipeline flows from the northern fields to Ceyhan in Turkey, increased output by 100,000 b/d to 3.25 million b/d. The country set a record of 2.509 million b/d for southern exports in April, which averaged less than 2.4 million b/d in March. Despite the coming on stream of new production in recent months, including West Qurna 2 in late March, technical constraints have limited the volume of oil available for export.
Saudi Arabia boosted output by 50,000 b/d to 9.65 million b/d in April. A Gulf source cited slightly higher requirements from customers. Within the kingdom, the 120,000 b/d Riyadh refinery closed down on April 15 for 45 days of maintenance.
Angolan output also rose by 50,000 b/d to average 1.65 million b/d.
Libyan output drifted down to 210,000 b/d in April from 220,000 b/d in March despite an agreement early in the month between Tripoli and rebels in the east of the country that saw the ports of Marsa al-Hariga and Zueitina open for the first time in nine months.
Operations had been expected to restart at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf as part of this pact but these major ports remain closed. The country's oil sector has been under siege since May 2013, with production and exports disrupted intermittently by strikes, protests and port blockades. Among major oil fields shut in are Sharara, Elephant and Wafa.
In Nigeria, where Forcados remains under force majeure, production fell by 60,000 b/d to 1.9 million b/d.
Iranian output was estimated at 2.85 million b/d in April, unchanged from March. The country remains under oil and financial sanctions that have restricted Tehran's access to international oil markets, with Europe off limits and exports moving to just six countries-- China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan.
The April total keeps OPEC output within the group's 30 million b/d ceiling, in place since January 2012. There are no individual country quotas. Ministers will meet in Vienna on June 11, but there are no indications at present that a policy change is likely. Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Naimi said on Monday during a visit to South Korea that he saw no need for OPEC to change output.
For output numbers by country, click here. You may be prompted for a cost-free, one-time-only log-in registration. For an OPEC guide, access this link: http://www.platts.com/news-feature/2014/oil/opec-guide/prod_table
About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets. A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is based in London with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.
About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 29 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.
CONTACT Kathleen Tanzy 212-904-2860 Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org