OPEC oil supply hits 3-year high

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OPEC oil output rose in December to the highest since October 2008, mainly due to a further recovery in Libya's production, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday.

Supply from all 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries averaged 30.74 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up from a revised 30.62 million bpd in November, the survey of sources at oil companies, OPEC officials and analysts found.

The survey indicates OPEC, source of more than a third of the world's oil, is producing more than the target of 30 million barrels daily it adopted at a Dec. 14 meeting, as oil prices well above $100 a barrel provide little incentive for supply cuts.

December's total is OPEC's highest since October 2008, shortly before the group agreed to a series of supply curbs to combat recession, based on Reuters surveys.

The biggest increase in OPEC supply last month came from Libya, where production continues to recover after being virtually shut down during the uprising which toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan oil exports and refinery demand have climbed to 750,000 bpd in December, according to the survey, up 250,000 bpd from November but some way short of the production figures given by Libyan officials. (Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Anthony Barker)



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