OPEC’s oil production dropped in May by 70,000 bpd to 32.00 million bpd on the back of outages in Nigeria and a continuous decline in Venezuela that dragged the cartel’s total production to the lowest level since April 2017, according to the monthly Reuters survey.
The largest fall in production was registered in Nigeria, according to the survey based on shipping data from external sources, Thomson Reuters flows data, and information provided by sources at OPEC and oil and consulting firms.
Nigeria’s production dropped to 1.85 million bpd in May from 1.94 million bpd in April, the Reuters survey found. Nigeria has been struggling with unplanned shutdowns of pipeline flows this month, and loading of the Forcados grade is being delayed.
The second-largest fall in May came from Venezuela, whose production declined to 1.45 million bpd from 1.50 million bpd, compared to the implied target of 1.972 million bpd, which means that Venezuela’s involuntary “cut” in May was 617,000 bpd—more than the cut pledged and achieved by OPEC’s biggest producer Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, for its part, as well as the second-largest producer in the cartel, Iraq, slightly raised their production in May over April. Saudi Arabia stayed within its quota and its production inched up to 10.00 million bpd because more crude oil was consumed domestically by power plants, according to sources in the Reuters survey.
Iraq produced more because it increased exports from its southern ports, following a drop last month.
According to the latest available figures by OPEC’s secondary sources—the ones that OPEC uses to measure quotas and compliance with the deal, OPEC’s production in April increased by 12,000 bpd over March, to average 31.93 million bpd, as Saudi Arabia boosted its production by 46,500 bpd.
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