OPEC provides above oil market needs

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OPEC pumps 1.62 million bpd above target in April

Global demand growth in 2012 rises to 900,000 bpd

OPEC is currently producing enough oil to keep world markets more than satisfied, the group said on Thursday. Oil prices have been high largely due to geopolitical risk, but now are expected to easy, according to OPEC’s monthly Oil Market Report..

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced its own production had risen in April to 31.62 million barrels per day (bpd) as Iraq ramped up and Libya’s oil industry recovered.

The increased flows have helped push oil down $15 from a March high of $128 a barrel.

Production figures reported directly by OPEC members to its Vienna headquarters show even higher rates. The “direct communication” figures for March put OPEC output at 32.4 million bpd versus the 31.3 million bpd assessed by secondary sources.

Output levels directly reported by OPEC members rose even more in April. Lead producer Saudi Arabia said it pumped 10.1 million bpd in April, up 179,000 bpd from March.

Iran told OPEC its output in April was 3.76 million bpd, steady since February, effectively denying that supply has been impacted by sanctions against Tehran.

OPEC in December set its official supply target at 30 million bpd, settling an argument that broke out in 2011 after Iran and other members opposed a Saudi-led plan to raise the production ceiling.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration also raised its 2012 world oil demand growth forecast this week. The agency sees demand growth at 960,000 bpd – up 70,000 bpd from its previous estimate.

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