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OPEC pumping less crude

Secretary General of OPEC Abdalla Salem El Badri delivers remarks during a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Tehran, Iran on April 19,2011. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/377fe29eb26c45aa34c1e6472901c882/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Secretary General of OPEC Abdalla Salem El Badri delivers remarks during a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Tehran, Iran on April 19,2011. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

NEW YORK, May 10 (UPI) -- Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped less oil in April than they did in March, a survey indicated.

The 11 members of OPEC, bound by production quota agreements, pumped on average 26.18 million barrels per day in April. This figure was 344,000 bpd less than they pumped in March, the Platts news network reports.

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Iraq, although an OPEC member, doesn't participate in OPEC quota agreements.

The April declines are in line with soaring energy prices that Washington partially blamed on market speculators, something a Platts analyst dismissed.

"With oil prices taking center stage, many pundits have dismissed fundamental supply and demand as a factor in the recent increases," said Platts Global News Director John Kingston in a statement. "One need go no further than these latest statistics to see one reason as to why the price of crude has risen so sharply."

Rising energy prices were also attributed to a decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, rising demand and disruptions from the conflict in Libya. Platts said Libyan oil production fell from 460,000 bpd in March to 200,000 bpd in April.

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OPEC, however, was still producing 1.39 million bpd more than its official target of 24.85 million bpd, Platts adds.

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