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Michael Kern

Michael Kern

Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com, 

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OPEC+ Oil Output Hits Highest Level Since April 2020 But Remains Below Target

  • In September, OPEC+ saw its crude oil production hit levels not seen since the Saudi-Russia oil price war of April 2020.
  • Despite rising production, the group remained a massive 3.6 million bpd below its output quota.
  • Last week, OPEC+ announced a 2 million bpd cut to its production targets for November, although the actual amount will be nearer 1.1 million bpd.

The OPEC+ group’s crude oil production rose in September to the highest level since the Saudi-Russia price war of April 2020, but producers in the pact remained a massive 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) below their collective output quota, the Platts survey by S&P Global Commodity Insights showed.

OPEC+ lifted their combined production last month by 170,000 bpd, with Saudi Arabia and Iraq boosting output, but Nigeria and Angola pumped the lowest volumes in 34 years of Platts surveys.

Despite OPEC+ production hitting its highest level in two and a half years, the group is still around 3.6 million bpd below their collective target, the survey found.

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OPEC+ was nearly 3.6 million bpd below its target in August, too. The group was widely expected to miss its production targets for August and September after it decided to accelerate the rollback of the cuts and have them completely unwound by the end of August, and then lifted its target by 100,000 bpd for the month of September.

In September, OPEC’s 13 members – including Venezuela, Iran, and Libya, which are exempt from the OPEC+ quotas – raised their production by a combined 190,000 bpd compared to August. OPEC’s output hit 29.75 million bpd in September.

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The non-OPEC partners in the OPEC+ deal saw their production decline by 20,000 bpd to 13.26 million bpd in September, mostly due to flat production in Russia, which pumped 9.77 million bpd last month, the same as in August and 1.26 million bpd below its quota, according to the Platts survey.

OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, was nearly in line with its quota of 11.03 million bpd, which is the same as Russia’s.

Last week, OPEC+ announced the biggest cut to its collective target since 2020. Despite the headline number of a cut of 2 million bpd, the actual reduction from current OPEC+ oil production would be half that figure, at around 1 million bpd-1.1 million bpd. That’s because many producers haven’t been able to produce to their quotas for months.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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