Khobar, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia produced 9.566 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in March, down from 9.849 million bpd in February, an industry source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The world’s largest oil exporter supplied 9.533 million bpd in March to the market, down from 9.899 million bpd in February. Supply to market may differ from production depending on the movement of barrels in and out of storage.

“The reason is because customers in different parts of the world are going to do refinery maintenance in the second quarter, normal maintenance,” said the source.

He could not say what the trend will be going forward in terms of how much Saudi will be producing.

Oil output from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in March fell to its lowest since December, a Reuters survey found last week, as Iraq’s oil revival suffered a setback and outages cut output in African producers.

Oil exports from southern Iraq dipped in March to an average of 2.424 million bpd.

The previous month, an average 2.507 million bpd was exported from the south, where the bulk of Iraq’s oil is produced and shipped abroad.

Exports were likely to increase next month, after Russia’s Lukoil began production at one of the world’s largest untapped oilfields.

In Libya, the Zueitina oil port was preparing on Monday to load crude into tankers after the government reached a deal with rebels to begin reopening four terminals that insurgents have occupied since the summer.