OPEC Crude Production Rises Led by Countries Exempt From Cuts

Updated on
  • Libya, Nigeria saw combined gain of 310,000 barrels a day
  • Results come after OPEC, non-OPEC extend deal to curb output

A worker walks between pipes at the oil and gas separation facility at the Baba Gurgur oil field in the Arafa district of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, on May 13, 2004.

Photographer: Staton R Winter/Bloomberg

OPEC crude production rose in May led by gains from Libya and Nigeria, countries that are exempt from the deal to cut output in a bid to revive oil prices.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ output in May jumped 315,000 barrels a day from a month earlier to 32.21 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. Libya’s output soared 210,000 barrels a day to 760,000 while Nigeria’s gained 100,000 to 1.7 million after fields in both countries resumed output as internal strife eased.

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. Last week, the group along with Russia -- which isn’t part of OPEC -- decided to extend the agreement for a further nine months until March because the oil market had so far failed to rebalance.

The surge in production from the exempt nations threatens to blunt the impact of the accord. Libya’s crude exports in May rose to the highest level in 31 months on increasing flows from Sharara, the country’s largest field, according to vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Nigeria hopes to ship an additional 200,000 barrels a day from the Forcados terminal by December, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said last week.

The 11 members bound by the output caps were fully compliant with their pledges last month, just as they were in April, the survey showed. Counting Nigeria and Libya, total OPEC oil output remained about 450,000 barrels a day above the target set out in the Nov. 30 production agreement, putting the group only about 66 percent of the way toward its goal, compared with 90 percent last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

— With assistance by Wael Mahdi, Stephan Kueffner, Salma El Wardany, Hashem Kalantari, Anthony Dipaola, Sam Wilkin, Elisha Bala-Gbogbo, Mohammed Sergie, and Rupert Rowling

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