OPEC+ Top Chief to Convene on Wednesday to Assess the Market and Member’s Output

Last month, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) witnessed a significant decline in oil production due to Nigeria's and Iraq's decreased crude oil exports in March.

However, this information was available in a Reuters survey released this Monday. According to the review, OPEC produced less crude in March following a significant drop in exports from Nigeria and Iraq. It continued voluntary supply cuts by some members who also agreed with the larger OPEC+ alliance.

This was announced when industry data revealed that Brent, the world's benchmark for crude, rose to $87.92 per barrel at approximately 6 p.m. Nigerian time.

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On Monday, it gained $0.95, or 1.1%, over its trading the previous day due to producers cutting their supply.

OPEC reportedly pumped over 26.42 million barrels per day last month, down by 50,000 bpd from February, according to a Reuters survey based on shipping data and information from industry sources.

In January this year, OPEC+ members, which include Russia, OPEC, and other countries, implemented fresh cuts in response to economic deterioration and increased supply outside the alliance. Last month, the producers decided to maintain them until the end of June. 

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It has been reported that key members of OPEC+ will meet on Wednesday to assess the market and members' output. No policy changes are anticipated before the group's June 1 full meeting.

According to the same survey, Iraq and Nigeria experienced the largest output decreases in March.

Last month, Iraq agreed to reduce exports by 130,000 barrels per day starting in February to compensate for pumping more than its OPEC ceiling.

The survey indicates that to fulfill the commitment, more work needs to be done in subsequent months after the 50,000 bpd cut in March.

Nigerian output also decreased, and some ship trackers reported that exports dropped more rapidly as the Dangote refinery received more cargo.

The survey found that OPEC was about 190,000 bpd short of its intended cuts in March, primarily because Iraq, Nigeria, and Gabon were pumping more than planned.

The survey discovered that Algeria, along with other Gulf producers, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, maintained their output near their voluntary targets.

The survey showed that Iran's output, which is not subject to quotas, decreased slightly. Even with US sanctions still in effect, Iran continues to produce close to the five-year high it reached in November after registering one of OPEC's largest output increases in 2023.

According to the survey, no OPEC member saw a significant rise in output last month. Libya, exempt from quotas, increased its output by 20,000 barrels per day as it resumed normal operations following a disruption in February.

Reuters gathered information from various sources to track supply to the market, including external sources for shipping data, LSEG flow data, flow tracking companies like Petro-Logistics and Kpler, and sources at oil companies, OPEC, and consulting firms.

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