OPEC Oil Supply Surges in April Ahead of New Cut

OPEC oil supply in April is at its highest since December 2018, a company that tracks oil shipments said on Tuesday. This is as producers pump at will before a new supply-limiting pact takes effect in May.

The month-on-month increase is more than 2 million bpd, Daniel Gerber, chief executive of Geneva-based Petro-Logistics, said. He did not give a March figure, but OPEC said in a report it pumped 28.61 million bpd last month.

Record supply from Saudi Arabia and the UAE is driving April’s increase. Besides, a multi-year high from Kuwait. This is despite the country reining in production in advance of the May 1 curtailment,” Petro-Logistics said.

Petrologistics is among the companies that measures OPEC supply, which excludes oil produced and placed in storage, by tracking tanker shipments.

OPEC is pumping more in April because an earlier supply pact it had with Russia and other outside countries collapsed in March. This prompted OPEC to remove limits on its output, Reuters reported.

Oil has slumped this year following a slide in demand caused by lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak and the ending of the earlier OPEC-led pact. Brent crude LCOc1 hit a 21-year low of $15.98 a barrel on April 22.

To shore up the market, OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed earlier this month to a new supply pact from May 1. Kuwait has said it is already cutting production ahead of the new agreement.

OPEC+ plans to reduce output by a record 9.7 million bpd for May and June. Other nations, including the United States, have also said they will be pumping less.