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OPEC+ Undershoots Oil Production Target Again

The OPEC+ group delivered the 400,000-bpd production increase in November, but it was still more than half a million barrels per day short of its overall oil production quota last month, the latest Argus survey showed on Friday.

Production at OPEC+ was still 580,000 bpd below the target for November, the survey found.  

OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Nigeria raised their production the most last month. The Saudis increased output by 110,000 bpd—as per the quota in the deal. Iraq also saw a large increase, by 90,000 bpd, exceeding its production ceiling, the Argus survey found.

Nigeria’s oil production rebounded in November, rising by 100,000 bpd to 1.49 million bpd, following disruptions in October. Still, Nigeria continued to pump below its quota, to the tune of 160,000 bpd, according to the Argus survey.

Russia, the leader of the non-OPEC group within the OPEC+ alliance, raised its production by less than called for under the deal. Russian output is estimated to have risen in November by just 30,000 bpd, compared to average monthly increases of 100,000 bpd in the five previous months, Argus estimates showed.

Last week, the monthly Reuters survey found that OPEC alone continued to raise its oil production in November under the OPEC+ deal, but the cartel continued to pump less crude than its share of the monthly increase.

Under the OPEC+ deal, the ten OPEC members bound by the OPEC+ pact should be raising their combined production by 254,000 bpd each month out of the total OPEC+ monthly supply addition of 400,000 bpd. Yet, in November, OPEC’s crude oil production increased by 220,000 bpd to 27.74 million bpd, according to the Reuters survey.

While OPEC+ says its production should rise by 400,000 bpd each month, the actual supply increase is smaller as some African OPEC members have been significantly underperforming because of a lack of spare capacity and investments. Between August and November, OPEC+ added 1.04 million bpd in total to its production, which was nearly 600,000 bpd below the target for the four months, according to Reuters surveys cited by columnist Clyde Russell.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 13 2021 said:
    The reason could be a lack of spare capacity by some members of OPEC+.or a deliberate move by OPEC+ to prevent the global oil market tipping into a glut in the first quarter of 2022.

    Either way, it isn’t a bad thing while there are lingering concerns about the Omicron variant.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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