OPEC's crude oil production fell to 27.54 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down 85,000 bpd from 28.39 million bpd in February, according to the latest preliminary data Tuesday from Geneva-based consultants Petrologistics.
Output from the OPEC 10 excluding Iraq dropped 200,000 bpd to 25.29 million bpd as the cartel tried to observe the compliance with its new output target of 25.2 million bpd.
The reduction in OPEC 10 March output adds up to 94 percent compliance with OPEC's 1.5 million bpd output cut agreed from Feb. 1, up from 80.7 percent compliance with the output cut in February.
Iraq's output in March rose to 2.25 million bpd in March, Petrologistics said, pointing out that exports from Iraq under the United Nations oil for food program and border trade to Syria via the Iraqi/Syria pipeline are likely to keep rising in the next few months.
"Iraq's exports are going to keep increasing," a source with Petrologistics said.Although March output from OPEC 10 was 25.29 million bpd, this is about 90,000 bpd over the cartel's Feb 1 target of 25.2 million bpd, Petrologistics said.
OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez recently said Iraq has asked for raising its export quota to 2.5 million barrel per day from the current level of 1.7 million barrels per day. "But this will depend on the United Nations' treatment of this issue," Rodriguez said, as previously reported.
Iraq exported 17.9 million barrels of crude, an average 2.56 million barrels per day, in the week ended Friday March 16, the highest level of exports in a single week in the entire current phase of the U.N. oil-for-food program, according to a U.N. spokesman.
Iraq the previous week had exported only 10.2 million barrels, or about 1.46 million bpd, according to a BridgeNews story.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )