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OPEC+ Raises Oil Production But Remains Compliant

OPEC saw its crude oil production rise by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August, data from secondary sources in the cartel’s monthly report showed, but even at higher quotas, the members part of the OPEC+ pact pumped less than estimated by tanker tracking surveys and less than the OPEC overall quota in the agreement. 

Total crude oil production from all 13 OPEC members averaged 26.76 million bpd in August, according to secondary sources OPEC cited in its closely-watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) today. The August production was 150,000 bpd higher than the July crude output, as the OPEC+ alliance returns more barrels to the market as per the latest deal reached in July. 

The increase, however, was lower than estimated in the monthly Reuters survey, which had pegged the rise at 210,000 bpd to average 26.93 million bpd, and even lower than the Bloomberg survey’s estimate of a 290,000 bpd rise to average 27.11 million bpd. 

Despite the higher production, OPEC is actually pumping at some 10 percent below its overall quota for the 10 members bound by the OPEC+ pact, due to outages and technical difficulties in countries such as Nigeria and Angola, Bloomberg noted earlier this month.

According to estimates by TASS based on OPEC’s secondary sources data in the MOMR, the cartel complied with the pact at 121 percent in August, compared to a compliance rate of 115 percent in July. 

OPEC’s data showed today the largest single rise in monthly production came from the cartel’s no. 2, Iraq—not from the top producer Saudi Arabia. 

Related: Why Hedge Funds Are Turning Bullish On Oil Again

Iraq raised its crude oil production by 90,000 bpd to 4.056 million bpd. The Saudis increased output by 69,000 bpd to 9.488 million bpd for the second-largest increase, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which boosted production by 55,000 bpd to 2.777 million bpd. Nigeria’s production slumped by as much as 114,000 bpd, OPEC’s data showed, after Shell declared in mid-August force majeure on exports of the key grade Forcados.

Crude oil production in the three OPEC members exempted from the cuts—Iran, Libya, and Venezuela—was little changed between July and August, according to the secondary sources in OPEC’s report.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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