OPEC maintained stable oil production in April ahead of the planned resumption of supplies, which is due to begin this month.
According to a Bloomberg study, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries averaged 25.27 million barrels per day last month, about 50,000 barrels per day less than in March. The decline in Libyan exports was largely offset by further growth from Iran.
The group and its allies, who cut production during the pandemic last year, gradually restoring about a quarter of suspended supplies over the next three months to meet the recovery in global demand. They will be gradually producing over 2 million barrels per day until July, starting at 600,000 barrels per day this month.
Global fuel consumption is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus, despite the recent outbreak in India, led by a vigorous recovery in China and American Wall Street banks such as Citigroup Inc. expects global demand to rise above pre-virus levels again this summer.
Nonetheless, the study shows that OPEC maintained its discipline while awaiting a recovery in demand. Saudi Arabia, the largest member of the group, continued to cut further production in April, producing 8.11 million barrels per day.
Figures are based on vessel tracking data, official information and consultant estimates, including Rystad Energy AS, JBC Energy GmbH and Petro-Logistics SA.
The largest fluctuations in April were observed in the OPEC countries, exempted from the agreement on the limitation of production.
Libya, which has managed to recover production since the end of last year after a ceasefire in its internal conflict, has suffered little setback. Its production dropped 80,000 barrels per day to 1.14 million barrels per day. The budget dispute has jeopardized efforts to repair war-damaged infrastructure.
However, by the end of the month, his state oil company had allocated money to solve technical problems and restrictions that were imposed on the eastern port was raised.
The disruptions in Libya have in any case been largely offset by further increases in production in Iran. The country added 60,000 barrels a day and reached 2.41 million barrels a day, the highest level in two years.
The Islamic Republic has increased production by about 20% since the end of last year as buyers in China gain confidence and as it resumes diplomatic relations with US President Joe Biden after the crackdown by his predecessor.
Iran and the USA making progress in negotiations to revive a nuclear deal that, if successful, could lift US sanctions on Tehran’s oil sales and boost production by an additional 1.5 million barrels a day.
If an agreement is reached, additional supplies could pose a problem for Saudi Arabia and other OPEC + members as they seek to drain the remnants of last year’s glut. The next meeting of the alliance from 23 countries will take place on June 1.
– With the help of Anthony Di Paola, Salma El Vardani, Verity Ratcliffe, Brian Wingfield, John Dean, Prejula Prem, Lucia Cassai and Fabiola Zerpa.