OPEC crude oil production in May showed a "hefty" increase of 610,000 barrels per day (bpd) over April, two thirds of it from Iraq, the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) reported Monday.
Baghdad accounted for around 400,000 bpd, the specialist newsletter said, noting that OPEC member states have continued to boost production throughout this year.
Since January OPEC production has increased by 2.23 million bpd, including 850,000 bpd from Iraq, MEES said.
Excluding Iraq, which is an OPEC member but not bound by the quota system, the 10 cartel states pumped 25.28 million barrels a day in May as against 25.07 million bpd the previous month, according to MEES estimates.
The increase meant that production by the 10 stood at 588,000 bpd above the ceiling OPEC agreed last March.
Quota compliance by the 10 member countries fell to 77 percent in May compared with 85.5 in April, MEES said.
MEES said Iranian crude production rose to 3.7 million bpd in May against 3.64 million bpd in April. Algeria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also saw modest rises in output.
Production in Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela remained the same or even decreased, MEES said, with certain states pumping at capacity or meeting industrial or political problems.
Iraq however produced 3.03 million bpd over the month compared to 2.63 million bpd in April.
Iraq's oil minister Amer Rashid announced on May 31st that Baghdad would increase production to 3.3 million bpd by the end of 2000.
OPEC countries will meet in Vienna on June 21st to review the markets having set up a mechanism to try to ensure stability.
MEES said US diplomats had been active in oil producing countries in recent days in pushing for output increases soon and above the 500,000 bpd set by OPEC last March if the basket reference prices stays over 28 dollars a barrel for over 20 working days – NICOSIA (AFP)
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