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OPEC gross production falls to a low level in six months



Gross production of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell again in November to a minimum of six months.

Total production fell 80,000 barrels per day to 32.47 million per day last month, according to a survey by Bloomberg News analysts, oil companies and vessel tracking data. That was the lowest level since May, when production was 32.29 million.

Angola led declines in November, with a drop of 100,000 barrels per day since October. The International Energy Agency, which tracks the production of OPEC members, warned last month that maintenance of the field would likely affect production in the African nation. Cargo programs for November show abrupt declines in exports of Saturn and Girassol grades in the country, while both had to recover in December.

OPEC and some non-members, including Russia decided on November 30 to extend their agreement to limit production until the end of next year, seeking to complete the rebalancing of the market by reducing world oil inventories to the five-year average.

The 12 OPEC members who agreed to reduce their supply implemented 118 percent of their promised cuts in November, compared with 110 percent the previous month, the survey showed. Nigeria and Libya are exempt from cuts, although they will be included in efforts to control production since January following the OPEC agreement last week.

The production of Saudi Arabia, the largest producer within OPEC, dropped 40,000 barrels per day to 9.97 million a day during the month. Venezuela's crude production reached 1.86 million barrels per day, unchanged from a revised level in October. Production in the Latin American country, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, is in decline in the long term as its state oil company faces a contraction of cash and debt payments of billions of dollars.

Last week, Manuel Quevedo, the newly appointed oil minister and president of Petróleos de Venezuela SA promised that the oil company would continue to honor its external debt commitments.

Production in Iraq, the second largest producer within OPEC, recovered by 40,000 barrels per day to 4.39 million per day, as some interruptions were resolved in Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region in the north. Last week, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said that reduced exports from the north would be offset by higher shipments from the south.

– With the help of Wael Mahdi, Salma El Wardany, Anthony Dipaola, Stephan Kueffner, Mohammed Sergie, Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Laura Hurst


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