OPEC Production Level Hits 14-month High

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) crude oil supply rose in February to the highest in 14 months led by Angola and Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey showed, further reducing compliance with output targets.

Supply from the 11 members of OPEC with output targets, all except Iraq, is averaging 26.80 million barrels per day (mbpd), up from a revised 26.69 mbpd in January, according to the survey of oil firms, OPEC officials and analysts.

The survey implies OPEC has made 53 per cent of promised supply cutbacks versus 56 per cent in January. OPEC, source of more than a third of the world’s oil, meets to set policy on March 17 and the widening gap between its supply target and actual output is likely to be a main topic of debate.

Even so, analysts said the extra barrels were not unwelcome in the market given that oil prices remain within the range favored by many OPEC members and inventories, which ballooned last year due to falling demand, were coming down.

“OPEC's told us that given the current economic environment, their goal is oil at $70 to $80. As long as prices are in that range, they are happy,” said Mike Wittner, analyst at Societe Generale in London.


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