Image courtesy of EPA.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped a record breaking 30.93 million barrels per day in April, nearly one million barrels over the group’s current production target.

According to Platts OPEC saw production jump by 210,000 barrels per day from March to April thanks to production spikes in several member countries.

“OPEC production has climbed within a whisker of 31 million b/d, well above the group’s current ceiling,” Platts senior correspondent Margaret McQuaile said.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, saw the largest production increase after boosting output by 100,000 bpd to 10.1 million bdp in April.

Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria also recorded small production bumps while Angola’s output fell by 70,000 bpd due to problems at BP’s Plutonio field and power outages.

Libyan production jumped 40,000 bpd to 520,000 bpd in April despite field shutdowns and ongoing political clashes.

The country’s output managed to hit about 600,000 bpd last month before technical problems and field closures pushed production back down to around 500,000 bpd.

Despite low prices and booming production Platts said OPEC is unlikely to change its current production target at its next scheduled meeting on June 5.

“However, given the emphasis on preserving market share and barring some kind of pact with key non-OPEC producers, it seems unlikely that we will see any output policy change at the June 5 meeting,” McQuaile added.

A pending nuclear agreement between Iran and western powers could also shake up energy markets later this year as more Iranian crude hits the market.

“But, with the potential for additional barrels from Iran in the event of sanctions being lifted, the second half of the year could be a lot more eventful,” McQuaile said.


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