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OPEC Oil Supply Falls for First Time in Eight Months, IEA Says

OPEC cut crude production last month, ending a seven-month run of increases, as Saudi Arabia and Iraq reduced supplies, the International Energy Agency said.

The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 31.86 million barrels a day of crude last month, compared with 31.89 million in April, the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly Oil Market Report. That exceeds the group’s 30 million output ceiling set in December and is still “flirting with four-year highs”, the agency said.

OPEC, which is meeting this week in Vienna, will need to produce more than its agreed limit in the second half of the year, the IEA said. The call on OPEC will increase to 30.9 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 29.8 million from January to June, it said.

OPEC’s estimate of production last month was 31.58 million barrels a day, according to its monthly report yesterday. That figure is based on secondary sources.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, cut production by about 100,000 barrels a day to 10 million barrels a day last month after reaching a three-decade peak in April.

OPEC’s “effective” spare capacity remained unchanged at an estimated 2.38 million barrels a day in May, the IEA said. That excludes Iraq, Nigeria, Libya and Iran.

OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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