OPEC and its allies are little more than a month away from taking a decision that will deﬁne the short-term future of the oil industry: extend crude-output cuts that haven’t really lifted prices, or return to pump-at-will policies that caused a crash. With a third full month of production data now available, the petro-states can at least say they tried to prop up the market.
Ten of the 21 countries that agreed to pump less stayed within their pledged output limits in March, versus five in February. OPEC on the whole cut production by more than required. Non-OPEC members still have far to go, though their efforts improved dramatically last month, preliminary data from the International Energy Agency show. Collectively, the nations are trying to curb output by almost 1.8 million barrels a day, with most of them using October’s production levels as their starting point.
Of the ﬁve OPEC members that complied in March with the output agreement, four cut production by more than required, according to the group’s secondary source data. Saudi Arabia again pumped less than the accord permits, and Angola slashed its output by almost twice as much as it needed to do. OPEC members Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the agreement, and Iran is allowed to boost output.
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