First Published: 2017-04-12

OPEC says oil deal threatened by increased US pumping
OPEC says world oil production fell in March, thanks to deal to cut output, despite American firms' pumping oil with increased enthusiasm.
Middle East Online

Cartel, prompted by Saudi Arabia, is likely to extend oil deal

VIENNA - World oil production fell in March thanks to a deal to cut output, OPEC said Wednesday, but the cartel's efforts to fight a global glut are threatened by American firms pumping oil with gusto.

The world produced a total of 95.82 million barrels per day (mb/d) last month, a fall of 230,000 barrels from February, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly report.

The production by OPEC itself, which accounts for about a third of the world's output, fell by 153,000 barrels per day to 31.93 mb/d, according to secondary sources cited in the report.

This takes it below a target included in an output reduction deal by OPEC and some non-OPEC producers including Russia which came into force on January 1 for an initial run of six months.

The initiative has prompted a recovery in global oil prices, in turn attracting many American higher-cost producers back into the market as they can operate profitably again.

This means that the combined output of non-OPEC producers, which fell to 57.32 mb/d last year, is now likely to recover to 57.89 mb/d this year, which would represent a rise of 580,000 barrels per day, OPEC said.

Of the total rise, 540,000 barrels per day would be produced by the US, a higher level than previously predicted.

Reports have suggested that the cartel, prompted by kingpin Saudi Arabia, may extend the output cut deal by another six months when its members meet at the end of May.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has told its fellow OPEC members that it wants the deal renewed.

Hopes for an extended period of cuts helped the oil price recover Wednesday, with US benchmark WTI up 0.4 percent on the day at $53.62 and Brent 0.5 percent higher at 56.51 in the early European afternoon.

Meanwhile, global demand for oil is likely to rise by 1.27 mb/d this year, a slight upward revision from OPEC's previous estimate, the cartel said in its report.

 

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Iraqi-Arab Gulf rapprochement makes headway

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land