London, England – Crude oil output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose above its production ceiling in January, raising questions about how it will handle the excess volume, according to a new analysis by Platts.

OPEC output rose to 30.87 million barrels per day (bpd) in January from 30.83 million bpd in December, an overproduction of 870,000 bpd over its latest production ceiling.

Libya increased its production to 1 million bpd, just 600,000 bpd short of its output prior to last year’s uprising. This more than offset the combined reductions from Angola, Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela. Production in the United Arab Emirates also increased slightly to 2.56 million bpd.

“Libyan production is clearly recovering steadily, and it will be interesting to see how the group accommodates these rising volumes, especially when OPEC is already substantially overproducing its 30 million bpd ceiling and with the Vienna secretariat forecasting that demand for OPEC crude in the first quarter will be well below current production,” said John Kingston, Platts global director of news.

The survey estimated output from OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia at 9.8 million bpd, unchanged from December.

In December, OPEC ministers agreed to set crude output for all twelve members, including Iraq and Libya, at 30 million bpd, but did not set individual quotas.

Connect with