The handover of Saudi Arabia and blackouts in Venezuela helped push OPEC's crude oil production down by 570,000 bpd from February to 30.23 million bpd in March – the lowest output from the cartel for more than four years, according to monthly S & P Global Platts survey published on Friday.
OPEC's de facto leader and largest producer Saudi Arabia saw its production fall in March to its lowest level since February 2017. Saudis delivered on their pledge to cut more than promised in the pact and slashed production by another 280,000 bpd in the previous month, with March production of 9.87 million bpd, according to the S&P Global Platts survey.
Venezuela showed its production slip to a 1[ads1]6-year-old low of 740,000 bps due to the massive blackouts that stunted oil production and exports in March, the Platts survey found.
OPEC's second largest producer Iraq reduced production by 100,000 bpd from February to 4.57 million bpd in March, according to t o survey This, however, remained slightly above Iraq's 4.512 million bpd production cover under the agreement.
After a first plunge that followed US sanctions on its industry, Iran's production has remained relatively stable over the last couple of months, and the Islamic Republic pumped $ 2.69 million in March, the record survey showed.
The recording of operations on Libia's largest oil field, Sharara, pushed Libya's production up to 1.06 million bpd in March, according to the survey.
Earlier this week, the monthly Reuters survey showed that OPEC's oil production in March 2019 fell to its lowest level since February 2015, when Saudi Arabia cut more than it had pledged, and Venezuela continued to fight among US sanctions and a large blackout.
The combined production of all 14 OPEC members stood at 30.4 million bpd last year, down by 280,000 bpd compared to February and the lowest level of OPEC production since February four years ago, to Reuter's survey.
OPEC will publish official production figures for its members in its monthly oil market report (MOMR) based on Wednesday, April 10.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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