OPEC reports an increase in oil production in December

The production of the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased in December, again driven by Libya, where a ceasefire was signed last year, according to a report released Thursday.

The total crude production the cartel reached the 25.36 million barrels per day (mbd) in December, a rise of 278,000 barrels per day in a month, according to indirect sources cited in the organization’s monthly report.

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This increase is due to the Libyan production, up 136,000 barrels per day to reach 1,224 mbd.

After years of chaos, the the country’s oil sector is recovering after the permanent ceasefire signed in October between the two authorities that dispute control of the territory.

By November, Libyan production had more than doubled.

The current level contrasts with the production prior to the cessation of hostilities: In the third quarter of 2020, the average production was 121,000 barrels per day, ten times less than today.

Libya is one of the countries exempt from production quotas, in a context in which cartel members and their OPEC + allies, especially Russia, they voluntarily limit their production to maintain prices.

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At a meeting in early January, the organization’s partners agreed to authorize Russia and Kazakhstan a slight increase in their production in the first trimester. But Saudi Arabia, prudent in the face of the spread of covid-19 that will make the health crisis persist worldwide, chose to impose a significant cut.

The cartel’s ‘de facto’ leader’s output remained almost stable in December, at 8,964 mbd.

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