Published February 29, 2012
OPEC oil output has risen in February to the highest since October 2008 due to a further recovery in Libya's production, as well as higher supplies from Angola and Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday.
Supply from all 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has averaged 31.23 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 30.95 million bpd in January, the survey of sources at oil companies, OPEC officials and analysts found.
The survey suggests OPEC is producing over 1.2 million barrels per day more than its target of 30 million bpd. But concern over possible disruption to supply from OPEC member Iran is supporting prices, which are near a 10-month high.
In February, the biggest increase in OPEC supply once again came from Libya, where output continues to recover after being virtually shut down during the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
February's total is OPEC's highest since October 2008, shortly before the group agreed to a series of supply curbs to combat recession, based on Reuters surveys.
Libyan crude oil exports and refinery demand climbed to 1.1 million bpd in February, up from 930,000 bpd in January, according to the survey, getting closer to the pre-war rate of 1.6 million bpd expected to be reached later this year.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia was also boosting output, sources in the survey said. Oil traders say the kingdom has indicated to its customers that it is able to supply extra crude if they need it.
Supply from Angola, which fell in the last few months, rose in February as the shorter month increased the daily rate.
Output in Iran, which is facing a European Union ban on its crude from July 1, has not fallen significantly in February, according to an Iranian official and oil industry sources outside the country.
Iran's top oil buyers in Europe are making substantial cuts in supply for March loading, industry sources have said, and it is not yet clear where Iran will sell the displaced crude.