OPEC February Production Falls Well Short of Allocations

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The 14 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produced a total of 32.39 million barrels of oil a day in February, according to the latest report from S&P Global Platts. That’s 340,000 barrels a day below the production target of 32.73 million barrels a day that the cartel adopted over a year ago.

Venezuela accounts for more than the entire production shortfall. The country’s February production totaled just 1.57 million barrels a day, 400,000 barrels below its allocated total of 1.97 million barrels a day. February was the seventh consecutive month of lower Venezuelan production and the lowest level in a non-labor strike year since Platts began recording OPEC data in 1988.

Five other OPEC producers missed their allocations on the low side: Saudi Arabia, 80,000 barrels a day below its 10.06 million barrel allocation; United Arab Emirates, 70,000 barrels below its 2.87 million barrel allocation; Angola, 60,000 barrels a day below its 1.67 million barrel a day allocation; Qatar, 20,000 barrels a day below its 620,000 barrel allocation; and Kuwait, 10,000 barrels a day below its 2.71 million barrel allocation.

Iran produced 3.83 million barrels a day in February, 30,000 barrels above its allocation, and Iraq produced 4.43 million barrels a day, 80,000 barrels more than its allocation. Nigeria produced 1.95 million barrels a day, 150,000 barrels more than its allocation, and Libya produced 30,000 barrels a day more than its 1 million barrel allocation.

Regarding Venezuelan production, Platts noted:

Venezuelan production, which has been in freefall as the country struggles with a host of economic and financial afflictions, … Analysts expect further declines, which could be exacerbated if the US imposes additional sanctions that hamper PDVSA’s ability to export crude, import diluent or refinance its debt, as the Trump administration is considering.

Excluding the special cases of Libya and Nigeria, the other 12 members of OPEC have maintained a collective compliance level of 114% with the cuts initiated in January 2017. In February the compliance level reached 145%, solely on the basis of a cut amounting to 222% in Venezuelan production.