OPEC holds production steady as compliance exceeds promised cuts

By Angelina Rascouet and Julian Lee on 1/3/2018

LONDON (Bloomberg) -- OPEC’s crude production held steady in December as the group approached a fresh year of output curbs in full compliance with its supply deal.

The 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.47 MMbpd, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.

Libya saw a 30,000-bpd decline to 970,000/day following a pipeline blast, which was offset by an increase from Nigeria. Both countries were exempt from cuts last year but are now expected to join the effort with a combined limit of 2.8 MMbpd. OPEC and its allies agreed Nov. 30 to extend their output agreement until the end of 2018 to balance the market.

Production in Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest member, slipped by 20,000 bpd to 9.95 MMbpd, the surveyed showed. Venezuela, which has suffered a slump in output amid economic collapse and U.S. sanctions, reduced volumes by a further 50,000 bpd to 1.81 MMbpd.

The 12 OPEC members bound by output caps implemented 121% of their pledged cuts in December, the same as the prior month, the survey showed.

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