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LONDON - Venezuela told OPEC that the country's oil output sank to a new long-term low last month due to U.S. sanctions and blackouts, deepening the impact of a global production curb and further tightening supplies.
Supply cuts by OPEC and partners led by Russia, plus involuntary curbs in Venezuela and Iran, have helped drive a 32 percent rally in crude prices this year, prompting pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump for the group to ease its market-supporting efforts.
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.
The figures could add to a debate within the so-called OPEC+ group of producers on whether to maintain oil supply cuts beyond June. A Russian official indicated this week Moscow wanted to pump more, although OPEC has been saying the curbs must remain.
OPEC, Russia and other non-member producers are reducing output by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 for six months. The producers are due to meet on June 25-26 to decide whether to extend the pact.
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