Survey Shows Spike In OPEC’s September Oil Production

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By Zainab Calcuttawala, Oilprice.com

September figures show that OPEC’s oil production rose in September with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Libya all increased production according to a new Bloomberg survey.

Total production from the cartel reached 32.83 million barrels per day, which marks a 120,000 bpd increase from August, the Bloomberg survey found.

Libya and Nigeria are both exempt from output cuts agreed on by OPEC last November. Though Nigeria has agreed to limit production to 1.8 million bpd earlier this year, Libya has made no such pact. Nigeria’s production reached 1.77 million bpd in September, the report said.

Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, also saw a production jump. The No. 1 cartel producer saw its production increase by 60,000 bpd month-over-month, while ally Kuwait saw a similar jump of 50,000 bpd.

Total compliance within the block dropped to 82 percent in September, compared to 88 percent in August, the survey said.

The Sharara field, the largest in the North African country, reached 230,000 bpd last week, according to an anonymous source, but went offline again this weekend. In August, Libyan production had reached 1.05 million bpd, but weeks of unrest at major fields had since caused the growth to falter.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told journalists last week that OPEC members are compliant with their lower production quotas at an “acceptable” level, but that rising supply from Libya and Nigeria is hampering the cartel’s efforts to rebalance the oil market.

“OPEC’s actions are working and compliance is acceptable overall, although there needs to be some change,” Zanganeh said. “Changes are really related to Libya and Nigeria and the 100 percent compliance of everyone.”

The African duo had been granted exemptions from the OPEC deal due to their own versions of domestic strife. Instability and active militant groups have caused output in both countries to drop significantly in the months and years leading up to the Vienna summit that forged the quotas now in effect.

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