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OPEC oil production at four-year low, says survey

A survey by Reuters suggest that OPEC oil production is at its lowest rate for four years.

According to the survey, total OPEC output averaged 30.23 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, some 90,000 bpd less than in March and the lowest total output for the cartel since 2015.

Continued output restraint by Saudi Arabia, as well as production declines in Venezuela and Iran, contributed to the drop. Venezuela, once a top OPEC producer, saw its supply drop by 100,000 bpd as the state-owned PDVSA was hit by US sanctions. The country has already been struggling to maintain oil production amid the current political and economic turmoil. Iran, meanwhile, is struggling to find export markets for its oil in the face of US sanctions.

The survey suggests over-compliance by OPEC members to the latest OPEC-led production quotas, despite President Trump having called on OPEC to boost production in order to bring down prices. For its part, Saudi Arabia is willing to compensate for any lost production in Iran and Venezuela, but Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has signaled that the kingdom will not rush to do so. It first wants to see evidence of customer demand.

The low OPEC production was countered, however, by for US producers, where operators like ExxonMobil, the energy giant that supplies Mobil distributors, managed to pump an average of 12.3 million bpd – a new weekly record. Nigeria also saw a big gain in output thanks to Total’s Egina field.

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