OPEC records highest production levels since 2012

OPEC records highest production levels since 2012 OPEC’s overall average production level for March was 30.72mn bpd. (Image source: Baron Reznik/Flickr)A survey by Platts has revealed OPEC’s oil production for March was the highest it has been since 2012

Released last week, the report put the total combined output of OPEC member countries in March at 30.72mn barrels per day (bpd), representing an increase of around 800,000 bpd on the previous month.

Margaret McQuaile, senior correspondent for Platts, said, “The month-on-month increase for March is a big one that provides a lot of food for thought.”

The survey estimated that Saudi Arabian output levels alone rose by 280,000 bpd, while Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi said the country pumped an average of 10.3mn bpd in March, adding that he expected national production to continue at around the same rate.

“Given minister Naimi's comments last week, Saudi Arabia looks set to keep production around 10mn bpd,” said McQuaile. “But the questions are; ‘can Iraq sustain this higher level’ and ‘what about Libya?’ Will we see another increase in April or will it be more of the same; up one month, down the next?”

Iraqi production hit 3.53mn bpd in March, while Libya’s output more than doubled to 480,000 bpd, from 210,000 bpd in February, despite ongoing security issues in the country.

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