- Co-leaders Saudi Arabia, Russia pump below caps
- OPEC+ compliance rises to record 120.8%
- Venezuela plunges; Libya, Kazakhstan also fall
OPEC and its allies continue to underperform their increasingly lofty oil production targets, with the group falling a record 700,000 b/d short of its collective quotas in January, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey.
Pushing OPEC+ compliance
OPEC’s 13 countries raised output by 150,000 b/d from December, pumping 28.19 million b/d of crude, while the nine non-OPEC partners, led by Russia, only managed to add a meager 10,000 b/d, producing 13.99 million b/d, the survey found.
In all, 14 out of the 18 members with quotas underproduced their targets, pushing OPEC+ compliance to 120.8%, the highest since the group instituted record output cuts in spring 2020 to pull the oil market out of its pandemic crash, according to Platts calculations.
Despite strong gains from the group’s core Gulf members and Russia, along with a resurgent Nigeria, disruptions in several OPEC+ countries, including Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Libya and Iraq, limited the bloc’s growth.
Criticism from key crude customers
The coalition’s struggles to keep pace with its monthly 400,000 b/d quota hikes have drawn a chorus of criticism from its key crude customers, including the US and India, who say the group should tap its shrinking spare production capacity to bring oil prices down from recent seven-year highs.
However, OPEC+ officials, who are next scheduled to meet March 2 to determine April output targets, say prices have overshot levels that current market fundamentals would indicate, driven by rising geopolitical risks in the Ukraine and elsewhere.
And they say that many underperforming countries face only temporary setbacks that can quickly be reversed.
Nigeria, plagued by numerous operational and technical problems over the past year, is one such example, posting the largest increase among OPEC+ members in January to hit a nine-month high, according to the Platts survey.
Africa’s largest oil producer pumped 1.57 million b/d, up by 190,000 b/d from December, aided by a recovery in key export grade Forcados. Even so, it was well under its quota of 1.683 million b/d.
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