A rebound in Nigerian production raised OPEC’s oil output in December by 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared to November, according to a monthly Reuters survey published on Wednesday.
Despite the increase in oil production last month, OPEC was still pumping well below the collective target of the ten members bound by the OPEC+ pact.
The larger OPEC+ group moved to cut its collective production target by 2 million bpd in November—about 1.27 million bpd set to come from OPEC members.
The 10 producers in OPEC with production quotas saw their combined oil output at 780,000 bpd below the target for OPEC for December. The shortfall slightly decreased from 800,000 bpd below the OPEC quota for November.
In December, OPEC pumped 29 million bpd, up by 120,000 bpd month over month, mostly thanks to a recovery in Nigeria’s production from outages, per the Reuters survey. Nevertheless, Nigeria is the biggest laggard in the OPEC+ production quota, alongside other African OPEC members such as Angola.
Earlier this week, the Bloomberg survey of OPEC production also showed a rise in output for December, by 150,000 bpd over November, thanks to the rebound in Nigerian oil production.
In October, Nigerian authorities discovered an illegal underwater 2.5-mile connection from Nigeria’s Forcados export terminal. It had been operating undetected for around nine years, state-run oil company NNPC said at the time. While Nigeria has known of the land-based pipeline taps for decades, an underwater one was the first of its kind.
Nigeria estimates it is losing about 600,000 bpd of crude oil due to theft. But for December, Bloomberg’s survey showed that Nigeria’s oil production hit an eight-month high of 1.35 million bpd.
OPEC’s crude oil production continues to lag behind its designated quotas, and fell in November by 744,000 bpd, its most recent Monthly Oil Market Report showed. For November, Saudi Arabia’s production fell by 404,000 bpd, to 10.474 million bpd. The UAE, Kuwait, and Iraq also saw production decreases for November, bringing the group’s production to 28.826 million bpd—the lowest since June.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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