Global Oil Supply Disruptions Lowest Since 2012

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By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oilprice.com

Unplanned disruptions in global oil supply dropped to 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in September 2017, which was the lowest level of crude offline due to unforeseen events since January 2012, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.

The main reasons for the lowest unplanned crude supply disruptions in more than five years were reduced outages in Libya, Nigeria, and Iraq, the EIA said.

To compare, in May last year, for example, unplanned global oil supply disruptions averaged more than 3.6 million bpd, the highest monthly level recorded since EIA started tracking global disruptions in January 2011. In May 2016, sudden outages in Canada, Nigeria, Iraq, and Libya more than offset reduced disruptions in Kuwait, Brazil, and Ghana.

As of September 2017, civil strife in Libya and militant activity in Nigeria saw an abatement in recent months, and global unplanned oil supply disruptions have dropped by more than 1 million bpd over the past six months, according to the EIA.

In North America, outages in Canada earlier this year from the fire at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake facility, combined with outages at Long Lake and Surmont facilities, resulted in a 425,000 bpd disruption in April, the EIA said. Canada’s production has now returned to normal and as of September, there were no unplanned outages in Canada.

In the U.S., production was shut-in as a result of Hurricane Harvey, which led to a 186,000-bpd disruption in August, and an average of 53,000 bpd disruption in September.

Outages in Nigeria dropped from an average of 370,000 bpd in April to 200,000 bpd in September, thanks to the Trans Forcados crude oil export pipeline resuming exports, the EIA said.

Disruptions in Iraq dropped to 50,000 bpd in September, but “the outlook for Iraq’s oil supply from the Kirkuk oil fields remains uncertain following an offensive by Iraqi security forces that started on October 15 in response to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) independence referendum held in September.”

Oil exports from Kurdistan via the Turkish port of Ceyhan have more than halved in the past week, and were at some 255,000 bpd on Monday, compared to 600,000 bpd of usual flows, according to a Reuters shipping source.

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