OPEC March Oil Output Falls in Survey Led by Angola, Libya Drops

OPEC crude oil production dropped in March, led by declines in Angolan and Libyan output, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Production by the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries slipped by 117,000 barrels a day to an average 30.293 million from 30.41 million in February, according to the the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Last month’s total was revised 533,000 barrels a day higher because of changes to the Saudi Arabian, Iranian, Iraqi and Nigerian estimates.

Angolan output dropped by 167,000 barrels a day to 1.52 million, the biggest decline for any member this month, the survey showed. Production tumbled because of maintenance at the Plutonio offshore field operated by BP Plc.

Libyan output dropped by 100,000 barrels a day to 250,000, the 10th decline in 12 months. The North African country’s production has fallen because of political protests and the seizure of ports by rebels. Libya pumped 1.59 million in January 2011 before the uprising that led to former leader Muammar Qaddafi’s ouster and death that year.

Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest producer, boosted output by 100,000 barrels a day to 9.75 million, the most since December. The desert kingdom pumped 10 million barrels a day in September, the most in monthly data going back to 1989.

Domestic Demand

The country increased output because of greater demand from domestic refineries. Crude deliveries to the 400,000 barrel-a-day Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. refinery in Jubail rose in March as it expanded operations. Satorp, which opened in July, is a joint venture of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Total SA.

Saudi Aramco restarted its Yanbu refinery this month after maintenance work shut the plant on Feb. 1, according to two people with knowledge of situation who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The plant processes about 240,000 barrels of crude a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

OPEC ministers kept their output target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day on Dec. 4. The group will next meet on June 11 at its headquarters in Vienna.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net Charlotte Porter

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