OPEC production is at a 2015 high largely due to Saudi Arabia and Iraq
OPEC supply for the month of March 2015 reached 30.63 MMBOPD from a revised 30.07 MMBOPD in February, according to a survey based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants, reports Reuters. The March production numbers are the highest since October of last year, as Iraq rebounds from bad weather and Saudi Arabia pumps at close to record rates.
Iraq supplied the largest increase in March, a result of southern oil exports recovering from bad weather that delayed tanker loadings, according to shipping data and industry sources. Based on the survey, Iraq’s exports have come close to December’s record high of 2.94 MMBOPD, dependent on whether tankers at the southern ports earlier on Tuesday actually depart in March.
Saudi Arabia increased output to an average of nearly 10 MMBOPD in March, sources in the survey said, due to higher demand from export customers and increased local requirement in new oil refineries. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on March 22 output was “around” 10 MMBOPD. The highest known Saudi output is 10.05 MMBOPD in 2013.
“The Saudis say they are responding to higher demand and I tend to believe that, looking at the strong refining margins in Singapore,” said an oil consultant. Margins are well above the annual average in Asia, which buys the bulk of Saudi Arabia’s exports.
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