Iraq and Nigeria pushed OPEC production higher in April
OPEC supply rose to 31.04 MMBOPD in April, the highest in more than two years, according to a Reuters survey. The increase puts the cartel’s production even further above demand forecasts for OPEC oil in the first half of the year, although second-half demand is expected to be stronger.
If the total remains unrevised, April’s supply would be OPEC’s highest since 31.06 MMBOPD in November 2012.
Iraq increased production in the north following a deal between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government, offsetting a slight decline in flows from the south which produces most of the country’s oil. Based on the survey, Iraqi exports this month look set to exceed March’s record high of 2.98 MMBOPD. Iraq hoped to reach 3.10 MMBOPD in April.
Nigerian exports also pushed overall OPEC numbers higher. The country’s largest crude stream, Qua Iboe, returned to more typical export rates, allowing the country to ship more cargos in April, according to the survey.
Saudi production dipped slightly from a record high in March, but remained above 10 MMBOPD due to increases local requirements in power plants.
Iran increased exports after some buyers, who stayed away in March in response to U.S. pressure during negotiations on a preliminary nuclear deal, resumed purchase in April. There was no corresponding increase in Iranian production, sources said to Reuters, as the extra exports were shipped from storage.
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