Platts Survey: OPEC Pumps 32.33 million b/d in February, up 80,000 b/d

    LONDON, March 13 /CNW/ -- The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped an average 32.33 million barrels per day
(b/d) of crude oil in February, an 80,000 b/d increase on January levels,
according to a Platts ( survey of OPEC and oil industry
officials just released.
    However, production from the 12 countries, excluding Iraq, bound by
output allocations fell to 29.93 million b/d in February from 29.96 million
b/d in January, the survey showed.
    "It used to be that when prices would soar, OPEC discipline would
gradually break down and more supply would come on the market," said John
Kingston, Platts global director of oil.  "When you look at numbers like this
-- soaring prices accompanied by minor increases in output -- it's a sign of
very strong discipline but with a significant mix of the apparent inability of
many of these member countries to put more oil on the market.  For most of
them, they are simply tapped out."
    Despite the 30,000 b/d drop, the OPEC-12 still exceeded their 29.673
million b/d collective output target by 257,000 b/d.
    Output increases totaling 190,000 b/d from Angola, Indonesia and Iraq
were partly offset by decreases totaling 110,000 b/d from Ecuador, Iran and
Saudi Arabia.
    Iraq, which does not participate in OPEC output accords, boosted
production to 2.4 million b/d in February from 2.29 million b/d in January, an
increase of 110,000 b/d.
    Meeting in Vienna on March 5, OPEC ministers decided to leave official
output targets unchanged, ignoring pleas from major consuming countries for
more oil and attributing record prices of more than $100/barrel to factors
beyond fundamentals of supply and demand.
    US light crude futures hit a new record of $111 per barrel for US light
crude on March 13.  On March 11, OPEC's crude basket broke above $100 per
barrel for the first time.
    OPEC is next scheduled to meet on September 9, but ministers have said
there could be informal talks on the sidelines of the International Energy
Forum next month in Rome.

    (table to follow)

    Platts OPEC Survey 2008

    Country         February      January       December        Target
    Algeria            1.39         1.39            1.39        1.357
    Angola              1.9         1.85             1.8          1.9
    Ecuador            0.49          0.5             0.5         0.52
    Indonesia          0.86         0.83            0.84        0.865
    Iran               3.93         3.98            3.97        3.817
    Kuwait             2.55         2.55            2.54        2.531
    Libya              1.74         1.74            1.74        1.712
    Nigeria             2.1          2.1             2.2        2.163
    Qatar              0.83         0.83            0.83        0.828
    Saudi Arabia       9.15          9.2            9.02        8.943
    UAE                2.59         2.59             2.5        2.567
    Venezuela           2.4          2.4             2.4         2.47
    OPEC-12           29.93        29.96           29.73       29.673
    Iraq                2.4         2.29             2.3          N/A
    Total             32.33        32.25           32.03

    (*) Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.
    For more information on OPEC, go to the "Platts Guide to OPEC" at
    About Platts:
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