Platts Survey: OPEC Oil Output Falls 80,000 b/d in March, But Still Above Target



    LONDON, April 11 /CNW/ -- The 10 members of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) bound by the group's output agreements produced an
average 26.54 million barrels per day (b/d) in March, a Platts survey showed
April 11. This is down 80,000 b/d from February's 26.62 million b/d but still
740,000 b/d above the group's 25.8 million b/d production target.
    Total production from all 12 members, including Iraq which does not
participate in OPEC output pacts and Angola which joined the group at the
beginning of this year, dipped by 70,000 b/d to 30.11 million b/d, the survey
estimated.
    "There certainly is no sign that higher prices are leading OPEC producers
to put more oil on to the market," said John Kingston, Platts Global Director
of Oil.  "To the contrary, the steps the group took several months ago to
restrain output are still firmly in place.  And with the third and fourth
quarters, which are historically demand-growth periods, just months away, it
won't be long before the group will be confronted with the question of whether
to put more oil on to the market."
    Among the OPEC-10, there were small output increases from Indonesia and
United Arab Emirates (UAE), but Nigeria, following the latest attack on oil
facilities in the Niger Delta, saw overall production fall by about 100,000
b/d.
    Iraqi volumes were slightly down on February, while Angolan production
continued to rise.
    OPEC ministers agreed last October to remove 1.2 million b/d of crude
from world oil markets beginning in November, saying supply was well in excess
of demand and setting a production target of 26.3 million b/d.  In December,
they agreed to expand the cut by 500,000 b/d from February, bringing the
target to 25.8 million b/d.  The cuts were based on estimated September
production of 27.5 million b/d.

    The latest survey shows that the OPEC-10 have cut supply by some 1.27
million b/d since September, when Platts estimates pegged production at 27.81
million b/d.

    Country        March   February   January   December   November   Cut

    
    Algeria        1.330    1.330      1.340     1.350       1.350   0.084
    Indonesia      0.850    0.840      0.860     0.860       0.860   0.055
    Iran           3.800    3.800      3.850     3.850       3.850   0.249
    Kuwait         2.410    2.410      2.460     2.460       2.460   0.142
    Libya          1.680    1.680      1.690     1.700       1.710   0.102
    Nigeria        2.150    2.250      2.250     2.230       2.230   0.142
    Qatar          0.790    0.790      0.800     0.800       0.800   0.050
    Saudi Arabia   8.600    8.600      8.750     8.790       8.800   0.538
    UAE            2.500    2.490      2.500     2.500       2.550   0.143
    Venezuela      2.430    2.430      2.450     2.460       2.460   0.195
    OPEC-10       26.540   26.620     26.950    27.000      27.070   1.700
    Angola(*)        1.570    1.550      1.500       N/A         N/A     N/A
    Iraq           2.000    2.010      1.660     1.900       1.990
    Total         30.110   30.180     30.110    28.900      29.060

    (*) Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.
    

    For more information on OPEC, go to the "Platts Guide to OPEC" at
http://www.opec.platts.com.

    
    About Platts:
    
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From 14 offices worldwide, Platts serves the oil, natural gas, electricity,
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For further information:

For further information: Europe: Shiona Ramage +44207-1766153 Asia:
Casey  Yew +65-653-06552 U.S.: Kathleen Tanzy 212-904-2860 
Kathleen_tanzy@platts.com Web Site: http://www.mcgraw-hill.com               
  http://www.opec.platts.com                  http://www.platts.com

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