The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has reported a slight increase in oil output for February, with member countries pumping a total of 28.97 million barrels per day (bpd), up 150,000 bpd from January. Despite this, output remains more than 700,000 bpd lower than it was in September. Nigeria, OPEC’s top producer in Africa, has been grappling with crude theft and security issues that have impacted its output. While the country’s production improved slightly in February, it is still significantly below its OPEC target.
OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, had been gradually increasing output for most of 2022 as global demand recovered from the pandemic. However, in November, faced with weakening oil prices, the group decided to make its largest cut since the early days of COVID-19 in 2020, reducing the OPEC+ output target by 2 million bpd, with about 1.27 million bpd to come from the 10 participating OPEC countries.
Despite this, compliance with the agreement increased in February, thanks to Nigeria’s improved output. However, many producers, particularly Nigeria and Angola, are still struggling to pump at the agreed levels, resulting in a significant shortfall of about 880,000 bpd below the group’s target for the 10 OPEC members required to cut production.
Nigeria saw the biggest increase in output in February, with Iraq following closely behind. However, the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria led to a temporary drop in exports via the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Meanwhile, OPEC’s Gulf producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates maintained high compliance with their targets under the OPEC+ agreement.
Among countries with lower output, Angola saw the largest drop due to maintenance on the Dalia stream, while Libya’s output remained steady. Iran posted higher exports in February, while Venezuelan output increased slightly. It is worth noting that Libya, Iran, and Venezuela are exempt from OPEC cuts.