OPEC Deepens Oil Production Cuts as Laggards Improve Complianceby and
Crude output fell to 31.9 million barrels a day in April
Iraq, Venezuela came closer to their reduction targets
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries deepened production cuts in April with laggards improving compliance with its historic deal to limit output.
Overall, output fell by 40,000 barrels a day from a month earlier to 31.895 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the group, and Venezuela came closer to their targets.
OPEC began production cuts on Jan. 1 in a bid to reduce swollen global inventories and bolster the price of oil, which is still stuck at half its 2014 level. Total output -- including Libya and Nigeria -- remains 135,000 barrels a day above target, putting the group about 90 percent of the way toward its goal.
Among the 10 members bound by the caps, compliance strengthened to 102 percent from 89 percent in March, the survey showed. Iraq produced 4.41 million barrels a day, a drop of 20,000 barrels, bringing it closer to its target of 4.35 million barrels a day. Venezuela saw a 20,000 barrel-a-day drop in output to 1.98 million. Saudi Arabia’s crude production was steady at 9.95 million barrels a day.
Production in Libya fell by 70,000 barrels a day after the shutdown of the country’s major field. Nigeria saw a rebound of 50,000 barrels a day following the end of the maintenance at a field that generally pumps 225,000 barrels a day. Both countries are exempt from OPEC’s November deal.
OPEC will meet again in Vienna on May 25 to decide whether to extend the cuts in the second half of the year. There seems to a be a general consensus to do so, Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi minister of energy and industry and the de-facto OPEC leader, said last week. The United Arab Emirates insisted Tuesday that all participants -- which include some non-OPEC nations such as Russia -- need to commit to the effort.