OPEC’s crude oil production declined by 193,000 bpd in November from October, as the cartel’s leader Saudi Arabia cut production ahead of the OPEC+ meeting, Iraq tried to fall in line with its quota, and Iran further suffered from the U.S. sanctions.
OPEC’s crude oil production averaged 29.55 million bpd in November, the cartel said in its closely-watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) on Wednesday.
The previous monthly report showed that OPEC’s production had jumped by nearly 1 million bpd in October compared to September after top producer Saudi Arabia recovered from the mid-September attacks. In October, the OPEC member with the second-largest monthly production boost was none other than Venezuela, which saw its production rise by 42,000 bpd, according to OPEC’s secondary sources which the cartel uses to track production and compliance.
In November, Venezuela recorded its second consecutive month of production growth, by 12,000 bpd to 697,000 bpd, according to OPEC’s secondary sources.
The biggest monthly increase, by 73,000 bpd, came from Ecuador, whose production recovered after the massive protests in October. Kuwait also increased its production, but stayed within its quota.
Libya was also among the OPEC members with a rise in production in November, but this will likely be short-lived as fresh security issues forced a field shutdown in December.
Saudi Arabia recorded the largest drop in production, by 151,000 bpd to 9.85 million bpd, just as the Kingdom was busy signaling to its partners that it would no longer tolerate cheating in the OPEC+ deal.
Iraq, the second-largest OPEC producer after the Saudis, remained the biggest cheater in November despite a 59,000 bpd production decline.
Iran, once the third-largest producer before the U.S. sanctions kicked in, saw its production drop by another 45,000 bpd to average just 2.102 million bpd.
In its last report for 2019, OPEC left its oil demand growth outlook for 2020 unchanged at 1.08 million bpd, and non-OPEC supply growth forecast unchanged at 2.17 million bpd. Despite the continued “slowdown in growth on the back of decreased investment and lower drilling activities in US tight oil,” OPEC expects that “incremental production from the US tight plays, particularly in the Permian Basin, as well as from offshore fields in Norway, Brazil, Australia and possibly Guyana, will contribute to the non-OPEC supply in 2020.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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