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Opec pumps least oil since June as Iraq supply curbed by weather

[LONDON] Opec said its production declined to the lowest level since June as bad weather disrupted supplies in Iraq and output weakened in Libya and Nigeria.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.022 million barrels a day last month, about 138,000 a day less than January, according to the 12-nation group's monthly market report. The group kept its forecasts for global oil demand in 2015 and the amount it will need to produce unchanged.

Exports from Iraq, Opec's second-biggest member, have been curbed by bad weather at the country's southern ports, while Libya's output has been disrupted amid political feuding between the government and its Islamist rivals. Oil slipped to a six- year low in New York on Monday on signs that US production is withstanding a price rout.

"Crude oil output decreased mostly from Iraq, Nigeria and Libya, while production showed increases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait," the organization's Vienna-based research department said.

The supply losses leave Opec's output in line with its target of 30 million daily barrels, first agreed in 2011 and upheld at a meeting in November. Production is about 1.9 million barrels a day higher than the 28.1 million the group estimates will be needed during the second quarter.

Iraq Losses Iraq's production declined by 78,400 barrels a day to 3.32 million a day, according to data compiled by Opec from media and other institutions. Bad weather caused delays at southern ports in February, affecting some of the nation's crude supplies, the International Energy Agency said Feb 10.

Nigerian output slipped by 64,000 barrels a day to 1.896 million a day, while Libya's dropped by 35,000 to 311,000 a day.

Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest member, boosted production by 37,000 barrels a day to 9.68 million. Iran and Kuwait were the only other members whose output increased.

Opec's 12 members will next meet to review their production target on June 5 in Vienna.

The group forecast that global oil demand will increase by 1.17 million barrels a day, or 1.3 percent, to an average of 92.37 million a day this year. The projection is unchanged from last month.

The organization increased estimates for non-Opec supply in 2015 by 80,000 barrels a day. Non-Opec producers led by the US, Canada and Brazil will boost output by 850,000 barrels a day to an average of 57.16 million barrels a day. Opec kept its forecast of US oil production little changed at 13.65 million barrels a day.