Opec May Production Drops Despite Saudi And Iran Increases

Opec production in May fell to 32.45mn b/d from 32.64mn b/d in April following severe outages in Nigeria stemming from terrorist attacks on oil infrastructure. There were also output dips in Venezuela, where the economy is in near-meltdown, Libya, and Iraq which fell from near-record levels in April.

These declines outweighed production boosts from Opec heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Iran, which increased their output in May to 10.20mn b/d and 3.42mn b/d respectively from 10.18mn b/d and 3.38mn b/d in April (see table).

Iran is rapidly approaching its pre-sanctions production levels of 3.58mn b/d (2011). May’s 3.42mn b/d is the highest output figure since February 2012’s 3.46mn b/d, just after the announcement of tighter EU sanctions but before they took their full toll on production. Both countries remain intent on securing their “rightful” market share, following the 2 June Opec meeting in Vienna which yielded little in the form of direction for the oil producing group (MEES, 3 June).


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