Iran Boosts Output, Exports of Crude as Saudis Cut, JODI Shows

Iran increased output and exports of oil in February as Saudi Arabia cut back on production and shipments, official data posted on the Joint Organization Data Initiative’s website showed.

Iran, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, increased crude output by 0.9 percent to 3.752 million barrels a day in February, according to JODI figures posted late yesterday. Iran’s exports rose to 2.338 million barrels a day that month from 2.265 million in January.

The U.S. and European Union have strengthened sanctions against Iran in recent months in a bid to pressure it to halt its nuclear program. The EU imposed an embargo on Iranian oil imports effective July 1. Saudi Arabia has pledged to meet global demand, though Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said markets are currently “balanced.”

Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in OPEC, pumped 9.853 million barrels a day in February, 0.2 percent less than the previous month, while reducing exports to 7.485 million barrels a day from 7.507 million in January, the data showed.

“Inventories in Saudi Arabia and around the world are full,” Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said April 12 in Seoul.

Oil inventories in Saudi Arabia rose 4.8 percent in February from a month earlier, according to JODI data. The Middle East country had 266.8 million barrels of crude in storage within its territory compared with 254.6 million barrels in January, JODI data show.

OPEC Exports

Exports of crude oil from Venezuela and Nigeria surged during February, data showed. Venezuelan exports rose 13 percent to 1.82 million barrels a day while Nigeria boosted shipments by 11 percent to 2.37 million barrels a day, JODI data show.

Qatar increased exports to 606,000 barrels a day in February, the highest monthly figure since December 2009, according to the data. Qatar pumped 750,000 barrels a day during the month, the highest level since June.

Angola increased exports by 5.3 percent during the month while Kuwait and Ecuador lowered exports. Iraqi exports were at 2.01 million barrels a day in February, the data show. Algeria, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates didn’t submit data for the month.

The 12 members of OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of global crude, produced 31.42 million barrels a day of crude in February, the most since mid-2008, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in its monthly oil market report on March 14. OPEC kept its output at around the same level, 31.43 million barrels a day, in March, the IEA said on April 12.

JODI, supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum, compiles data provided by member governments. The IEF is a group of nations accounting for more than 90 percent of global oil and gas supply and demand, established as a forum for producing and consuming countries to discuss international energy security.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Cairo at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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