OPEC is creating bigger opportunities for North American shale producers.

OPEC REPORT: Venezuela reports collapse in oil supply, tightening global market. “In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Venezuela told the group that it pumped 960,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March, a drop of almost 500,000 bpd from February.”

This Reuters story describes Venezuela’s production collapse as an “involuntary curb,” which I suppose is one man’s way of saying “near-total economic collapse.”

More from CNBC:

OPEC’s output fell by 534,000 bpd in March to 30.02 million bpd, according to independent sources cited by the group in its monthly report. This year, supply from the group has fallen by more than 1.5 million bpd, helping to drive international Brent crude prices 30 percent higher.

Much of the March decline is due to Saudi Arabia’s willingness to aggressively cut production. In March, the Saudis took another 324,000 bpd off the market, bringing output to just under 9.8 million bpd and delivering on Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih’s vow to pump well below 10 million bpd.

OPEC is sacrificing marketshare to prop up prices, but given that producers in the Permian Basin are closing in on being profitable at $15-a-barrel, OPEC is creating bigger opportunities for North American shale producers.

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But maybe the real measure of how big a pinch OPEC is in is that members states have become so desperate that they’re hardly cheating on their production quotas.


h/t SG