Gulf states boost oil output in April

Saudi pumped 8.82mbpd in April compared with around 8.655mbpd in March (FILE)

Gulf oil heavyweights boosted their crude production in April to offset the disruption in supplies from Opec member Libya because of the current internal fighting, official data showed on Thursday.

Reporting output levels to the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum (IEF), Saudi Arabia said it pumped 8.82 million barrels per day in April compared with around 8.655 million bpd in March. Its output had surged to one of its highest levels of nearly 9.02 million bpd in February.

The Gulf kingdom, which controls over a fifth of the world’s recoverable crude deposits, gave no figures for May and June but it is believed to have kept its production at high levels to offset the stoppage of most crude exports from Libya, where rebels have been fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

Libya had pumped nearly 1.48 million bpd in January before output slumped to 1.27 million bpd in February and collapsed to just 290,000 bpd in March. IEF, which groups more than 100 oil producers and consumers, gave no figures for Libya’s present output but it is believed to be negligible as fighting spreads.

The figures showed the UAE, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, raised crude supplies from 2.486 million bpd in February to 2.608 million bpd in March. There were no data for April or the following months.Kuwait also steadily boosted output this year from around 2.38 million bpd in January to 2.42 million bpd in February and 2.46 million bpd in March. Its production in April rose to one of its highest levels of 2.5 million bpd.Qatar, a small Opec oil exporter but the world’s third gas power, kept output almost unchanged at 730,000 bpd while Iran pumped 3.56 million bpd in March compared with 3.545 million bpd in February. There were no figures for April.

Conflict-battered Iraq, which is outside Opec quota system, produced about 2.624 million bpd in April, up from 2.525 million bpd in March.

Production by non-Opec Oman slipped to 877,000 bpd in April from 885,000 bpd in March.

The report showed Russia, also a non-OPEC nation which is the world’s largest oil producer, maintained high output levels of around 10.225 million bpd in April, up from nearly 10.189 million bpd in March. At the end of its recent conference, the 12-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries did not issue any statement for the first time in its four-decade history after failing to reach agreement on raising output to curb soaring prices because of the Libyan crisis. But there were reports about plans to pump more crude by Saudi Arabia, which controls nearly three million bpd in idle capacity.ends 

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