OPEC pumped 33.1 million barrels a day last month, down 310,000 barrels a day from November.
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Senior Saudi energy officials told top independent U.S. oil firms in a closed-door meeting this week that they should not assume OPEC would extend output curbs to offset rising production from U.S. shale fields, two industry sources told Reuters on Thursday.The resulting rise in oil prices has sparked a rush of new output by shale producers, who this week outlined ambitious production growth plans across the United States.On Wednesday, oil prices plunged 5 percent to lowest levels this year after U.S. crude inventories surged to a record high, in part because of rising output from shale producers.Unlike the OPEC and non-OPEC state-run producers that have agreed to curb output, there is no mechanism for U.S. independent producers and global oil majors to restrain output.
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