LONDON, March 13 /PRNewswire/ --
The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped an average 32.33 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil in February, an 80,000 b/d increase on January levels, according to a Platts (http://www.platts.com/) survey of OPEC and oil industry officials just released.
However, production from the 12 countries, excluding Iraq, bound by output allocations fell to 29.93 million b/d in February from 29.96 million b/d in January, the survey showed.
"It used to be that when prices would soar, OPEC discipline would gradually break down and more supply would come on the market," said John Kingston, Platts global director of oil. "When you look at numbers like this -- soaring prices accompanied by minor increases in output -- it's a sign of very strong discipline but with a significant mix of the apparent inability of many of these member countries to put more oil on the market. For most of them, they are simply tapped out."
Despite the 30,000 b/d drop, the OPEC-12 still exceeded their 29.673 million b/d collective output target by 257,000 b/d.
Output increases totaling 190,000 b/d from Angola, Indonesia and Iraq were partly offset by decreases totaling 110,000 b/d from Ecuador, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Iraq, which does not participate in OPEC output accords, boosted production to 2.4 million b/d in February from 2.29 million b/d in January, an increase of 110,000 b/d.
Meeting in Vienna on March 5, OPEC ministers decided to leave official output targets unchanged, ignoring pleas from major consuming countries for more oil and attributing record prices of more than US$100/barrel to factors beyond fundamentals of supply and demand.
US light crude futures hit a new record of US$111 per barrel for US light crude on March 13. On March 11, OPEC's crude basket broke above US$100 per barrel for the first time.
OPEC is next scheduled to meet on September 9, but ministers have said there could be informal talks on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum next month in Rome.
(table to follow) Platts OPEC Survey 2008 Country February January December Target Algeria 1.39 1.39 1.39 1.357 Angola 1.9 1.85 1.8 1.9 Ecuador 0.49 0.5 0.5 0.52 Indonesia 0.86 0.83 0.84 0.865 Iran 3.93 3.98 3.97 3.817 Kuwait 2.55 2.55 2.54 2.531 Libya 1.74 1.74 1.74 1.712 Nigeria 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.163 Qatar 0.83 0.83 0.83 0.828 Saudi Arabia 9.15 9.2 9.02 8.943 UAE 2.59 2.59 2.5 2.567 Venezuela 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.47 OPEC-12 29.93 29.96 29.73 29.673 Iraq 2.4 2.29 2.3 N/A Total 32.33 32.25 32.03 - Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.
For more information on OPEC, go to the "Platts Guide to OPEC" at http://www.opec.platts.com.
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