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OPEC Crude Production Rises to Three-Year High, Survey Shows

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Crude production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose to the highest level in three years in December, led by surging Libyan output, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Production increased 162,000 barrels, or 0.5 percent, to an average 30.667 million barrels a day from a revised 30.505 million, the most since November 2008, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Daily output by the 11 members with quotas, all except Iraq, climbed 167,000 barrels to 27.967 million, 3.122 million barrels above their former target.

OPEC decided at a Dec. 14 meeting in Vienna to increase its production ceiling to 30 million barrels a day, the first change in three years. The new target is for all members of the group, including Iraq. The organization will be reviewing the quotas at its next meeting scheduled for June 14.

Libyan output rose 100,000 barrels to 700,000 a day last month, the highest level since February, the survey showed. Production in the country had tumbled from 1.585 million barrels a day in January, the last month before an uprising against the government of Muammar Qaddafi disrupted output.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, increased output by 50,000 barrels to 9.65 million barrels a day in December. November production was revised 50,000 barrels a day higher.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Shenk and Karyn Peterson in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net.

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

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