As OPEC has been easing the production cuts, the cartel’s crude oil production hit a 10-month high in August, as Iraq including Kurdistan pumped at record levels and Libya recovered from weeks of port blockades, according to the monthly S&P Global Platts survey.
Total OPEC-15 oil production came in at 32.89 million bpd last month, including 320,000 bpd output from its newest member, Congo, which joined OPEC in June this year.
Excluding Congo, OPEC pumped 32.57 million bpd in August, the highest level since October 2017, the Platts survey found.
Libya boosted production the most, as fields and oil export terminals returned to operation after the attack on the Oil Crescent in June that crippled the country’s oil production and exports in both June and July. Libya’s production recovered to 940,000 bpd, according to the Platts survey.
OPEC’s no.1 and de facto leader Saudi Arabia saw its production average 10.49 million bpd in August. That number is up from the Saudi production in July, as per official OPEC figures, 10.387 million bpd.
Last week, an OPEC source told S&P Global Platts that Saudi Arabia would report to OPEC that its crude oil production in August averaged 10.424 million bpd.
OPEC’s no.2 Iraq—including the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region— produced 4.68 million bpd last month, up by 110,000 bpd over July, and the highest Iraqi production in the 30 years of Platts OPEC surveys. Related: Oil Could Jump To $95 This Winter
OPEC’s no.3 Iran is already seeing the impact of the U.S. sanctions not only on its exports, but also on its production. According to the Platts survey, Iran’s production in August was 3.6 million bpd, down by 120,000 bpd from July. Platts Analytics expects U.S. sanctions to remove around 1.4 million bpd of Iranian oil from the market by November.
Venezuela’s production further tumbled, by 20,000 bpd to 1.22 million bpd in August. Compared to August last year, Venezuelan oil production plunged by 680,000 bpd.
OPEC is releasing August production figures in its next monthly report on September 12.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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