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Bloomberg: July Output for Most of OPEC Drops by 80,000 Barrels a Day

Oil production among thirteen of the fourteen Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member states fell by 80,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to a Bloomberg News survey published on Tuesday.

The oil cartel expanded on 1 July with the return of Gabon, which became the smallest member with an output of 210,000 bpd. The expansion of OPEC allowed the group’s total output to jump from 33.11 million bpd in June to 33.24 bpd the following month.

Several countries in OPEC suffered production losses in July based on the latest monthly Bloomberg survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. Nigeria, which has seen its output nosedive this year following attacks by militants, suffered the steepest production loss with a 70,000 bpd decline last month.

Production last May in the West African country reached a 27-year low, though the government is hopeful that negotiations with militants could ease the attacks against oil infrastructure.

Political unrest pushed output in Libya down by 20,000 bpd to 300,000 barrels last July. The month ended with an agreement to reopen three closed oil terminals, which could lead to a possible resumption of exports. Nevertheless, Energy Aspects geopolitical risk analyst Richard Mallinson explained to Platts how exports would likely be limited to "200,000-300,000 bpd at most.”

Output for Iran, which has seen a near 25 percent growth since international sanctions were removed last January, enjoyed an increase in July by 20,000 bpd to 3.55 million. Yet Iran could see increased competition from the world’s top exporter of oil, Saudi Arabia, whose production dipped by 40,000 bpd in July. State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. announced plans on Sunday to sell Arab Light crude in September at a rate below Asia’s regional benchmark.

Global oil prices fell below the US$40 mark on Monday after a recent Reuters survey found output among OPEC countries reached record highs.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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