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OPEC’s oil production increases as Iran ramps up output

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Sanctions lifted early this year meant soaring crude production in April for Iran, who is seeking to regain their share of the market.

Productions in April increased by 484,000 barrels to 33.217 million per day, the highest monthly data collected by Bloomberg dating back to 1989.

On April 17 the meeting in Doha failed after Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf nations wouldn’t agree to limit production unless all members of the oil-exporter group joined, including Iran. OPEC set an output goal of 30 million barrels a day.

After sanctions had been lifted in January, Iran saw an increase from 300,000 barrels a day to 3.5 million, the highest since December 2011. Sanctions were lifted upon for the Islamic Republic, boosting production. “The most significant number is Iran’s,” said Mike Wittner, head of oil markets at Societe Generale SA in New York. “Iran continues to increase output at a fairly healthy clip, which has been the case since January.”

Iraq also saw an increase in production in April from 160,000 barrels a day to 4.31 million. In January, one of OPEC’s largest producers delivered a record 4.51 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia went from an output of 80,000 barrels a day to 10.27 million, the highest since November. “Saudi Arabia and Iraq are very strong and Iran is coming back quickly,” Wittner said.

Kuwait saw a decline of 100,000 barrels a day to 2.9 million, largest decline in April. The plan is to boost oil production past 3 million barrels a day within months, doubling output since last week’s strike. OPEC ministers plan to get together June 2.

Article written by HEI contributor Marcela Abarca.

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