OPEC Boosts Oil Production to Seven-Month High in May, IEA Says

OPEC boosted crude oil production to a seven-month high last month as output increased from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, according to the International Energy Agency.

The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.89 million barrels a day in May, up from 30.75 million in April, the Paris-based IEA said today in its monthly oil-market report. That exceeds a target of 30 million that was reaffirmed at the group’s last meeting on May 31.

“Higher output from the Gulf producers only partially offset by reduced supplies from Iraq, Libya and Nigeria, where terrorist and militant activity continued to undermine production levels,” the IEA said.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, estimated that its members produced 30.57 million barrels a day last month, according to a report by the group yesterday based on secondary sources. That was the most since November.

Saudi Arabia pumped at the highest in six months at 9.56 million barrels a day in May, rising 220,000 barrels a day from 9.34 million the previous month, the IEA said. Output increased ahead of the summer, when domestic demand for air-conditioning peaks, requiring more crude for direct burning in power plants.

Iran’s output rose 30,000 barrels a day to 2.68 million barrels a day, even as it faced “logistical and shipping challenges” from international sanctions, the IEA said.

Nigerian production declined to a six-month low at 1.96 million barrels a day, curbed by theft-related damage to pipelines, the agency said.

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

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