OPEC crude oil production output falls in March

OPEC crude oil production output falls in March The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decreased it's crude oil production from 30.11 barrels per day in February 2014 to 29.65 million b/d in March, according to Platts.

This number of barrels per day is the lowest OPEC has produced since mid-2011, Platts reported The total drop was 550,000 b/d and three countries - Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya - account for 440,000 barrels of the decrease.

Some of the decline has been attributed to insurgent attacks in Iraq, which closed one of the country's important pipelines, according to Platts. Prior to March, Iraq's crude oil output had increased because of improvements in exporting capabilities. However, difficulties such as insurgent attacks will likely make the country's output inconsistent.

Saudi Arabia has a reduced output because of maintenance. Saudi output in February was 9.7 million b/d and was 9.6 million b/d in March, Platts reported. The output in March was the lowest Saudi Arabia has contributed since June 2013.

Libyan crude oil output came to a halt in 2011, but has slowly recovered. Current output has been affected by political unrest, strikes, protests and blocked ports.

More information on OPEC can be found at PennEnergy's Research Center.

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