OPEC March crude production falls
BY PAUL REKOFF
NEW YORK -- Crude-oil output from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell in March to its lowest monthly level since October 2011, according to data released by the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA).
OPEC members pumped 29.83 MMbbl last month, down from a revised 29.88 MMbbbl in February, the EIA said in its monthly short-term energy outlook. Last month, the EIA estimated OPEC's February crude oil production at 30.01 MMbbl.
The drop in March marked the organization's seventh straight monthly decline. The slide in OPEC crude output has coincided with tepid global demand for crude oil, thanks to uncertain economic expansion in China, sluggish United States growth and the continuing debt crisis in Europe.
Last month, the reduced production largely came from Libya and Nigeria. Both nations saw their output cut by 500 Mbbl last month to 1.35 MMbbl for Libya and 1.95 MMbbl for Nigeria.
OPEC's overall production capacity fell 30,000 MMbbl to 35.55 MMbbl. Meanwhile, the organization's spare capacity stayed unchanged at 2.8 MMbbl.
Dow Jones Newswires