Exclusive: OPEC figures show oil output cuts exceed pledge in March - sources

Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:26pm EDT
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By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC states cut oil output in March by more than they pledged under supply curbs, according to figures the exporter group uses to monitor its supply, extending a record of higher-than-expected adherence to its first production cut in eight years.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from Jan. 1 to prop up prices and reduce a glut. Russia and 10 other non-OPEC states agreed to cut half as much.

Production from the 11 OPEC members with output targets under the deal has averaged 29.757 million bpd in March, according to average assessments of secondary sources OPEC uses to monitor its output. The figures were seen by Reuters.

OPEC pledged to reduce output by the 11 countries to 29.804 million bpd. This means production has fallen by more than OPEC said it would and amounts to 104 percent adherence to the supply cut regime, according to an OPEC calculation.

"OPEC's compliance has been more than anticipated," an OPEC delegate said. "For non-OPEC, it is satisfactory and getting better."

The supply cut is supporting oil prices which are trading around $56 a barrel, up from $42 a year ago.

OPEC expects the output cuts to reduce excess supply weighing on the market.

"We are gradually but steadily on course to seeing a return to balanced oil markets," OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo told Reuters, adding that OPEC and non-OPEC states were seeking "sustainable stability" in the market.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO -  A flag with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) logo is seen before a news conference at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo