OPEC oil output drops in December amid Nigeria disruptions

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OPEC’s crude production fell by 310,000 barrels a day in December, as unplanned disruptions in Nigeria reduced the group’s supply before deliberate cuts take effect this month, Bloomberg reports.

Nigeria’s daily output dropped by 200,000 barrels to 1.45 million in December, ending three months of gains as the African nation struggled to restore capacity after a year of militant attacks on oil infrastructure. Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at London-based consultant Energy Aspects Ltd., said that maintenance on the Erha field and strike action by workers at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s operations in the country disrupted both exports and production.

No cargoes of the Agbami crude grade were shipped in first half of December, while three out of the four Erha cargoes originally scheduled to load were deferred, with two of those moved into January, according to loading programs. The decline in December comes as OPEC, which controls around 40 percent of global supply, is planning to curb output starting this month, along with Russia and other non-members in a bid to boost oil prices.

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