UPDATE 1-Kuwait offers Khafji crude for April export after long output halt -sources

(Updates with details)

SINGAPORE, March 6 (Reuters) - Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has offered its first Khafji crude oil cargo from the Saudi Arabia-Kuwait Neutral Zone for export in April, five years after a dispute disrupted supply, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

In a notice dated March 5 to customers and reviewed by Reuters, KPC said Khafji crude oil output has resumed and all production operations are currently running smoothly. It is soliciting buyers for the first Khafji cargo available for export in April.

Calls to KPC for comment went unanswered.

The move comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pushes for a large additional crude output cut of 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by OPEC and allied producers until the end of 2020, to help prop up prices after the global coronavirus outbreak hit oil demand.

Oil production from the Neutral Zone was expected to reach 550,000 bpd before the end of the year, Kuwait’s oil minister said in February.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, both OPEC members, agreed last year to end a five-year dispute over the area, allowing production to resume at two jointly run fields that can pump up to 0.5% of the world’s oil supply.

The Gulf neighbours started trial oil production from the jointly-operated Wafra and Khafji oilfields in February. (Reporting By Shu Zhang; Editing by Tom Hogue)