Kuwait Oil Output Almost at Capacity One Day After Strike Ends

  • Crude production at 2.9 million barrels a day on Thursday
  • Refineries processing 830,000 barrels of crude a day

Kuwait’s oil production is almost back to capacity one day after workers called off a strike that had disrupted output and sent prices rising.

OPEC’s fourth-largest producer boosted output to 2.9 million barrels a day on Thursday, acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh said in a letter posted on state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp.’s Twitter account. Capacity is 3 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Production was 1.5 million barrels on Tuesday, one day before the strike ended.

The 13,000 members of the Oil & Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation walked off their jobs to protest cuts in pay and benefits amid a push by Middle Eastern crude exporters to reduce subsidies and government handouts to cope with falling oil prices. A global glut of crude has pushed prices 27 percent lower in the past year. Worldwide supply surpassed demand by 1.5 million barrels a day in the first quarter, according to the International Energy Agency.

Benchmark Brent crude fell as much as 2.5 percent on Thursday and was trading $1.03 lower at $44.75 a barrel in London at 3:02 p.m. local time. Prices had climbed during the strike as Kuwait’s output plunged to 1.1 million barrels a day on the first day on Sunday.

The country’s three refineries boosted their total crude-processing rate to 830,000 barrels, according to Al-Saleh’s letter. That’s an increase from about 520,000 barrels of crude the facilities were able to process during the strike. The refineries have total capacity of about 900,000 barrels a day.