OPEC output marks time in April

06 May 1994

The combined crude oil production of OPEC's 12 member states averaged 24.9 million barrels a day (b/d) in April, unchanged from the March level, according to estimates by the Washington-based Petroleum Finance Company (PFC).

This compares with the OPEC target of 24.52 million b/d for the rest of the year. PFC estimates that OPEC crude oil exports averaged 17.1 million b/d in April, also unchanged from the previous month.

PFC estimates that Gulf OPEC states produced close to their individual allocations in April. Total Saudi Arabian production was held at 8 million b/d. Iranian output was 3.6 million b/d. PFC forecasts in its monthly producing country review report that non-OPEC supplies should fall modestly in the second and third quarters of 1994.

Oil markets held most of their recent gains in the final days of April. Dated Brent Blent crude was quoted at $16.20 a barrel on 26 April, about $2.50 a barrel higher than at the start of the month. The oil price rebound was mainly attributed to technical factors.

Oman's Petroleum & Minerals Minister, Said Bin Ahmad al-Shanfari, said in an interview published by Nicosia-based Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) on 25 April that he was still trying to secure oil production co- ordination between OPEC and non-OPEC states. Al-Shanfari said that he had sent a letter to OPEC president Abdullah al-Attiyah proposing all oil producers should agree to cap oil output for six to 12 months.

Al-Shanfari said that Oman has rescinded its decision to cut output by 5 per cent following OPEC's decision in Geneva in March to roll over the production allocations agreed in September 1993. Omani oil production had been restored to 800,000 b/d effective 1 April, he said.

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