OPEC October Output Rose to 30.05 bpd -Platts

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) crude oil output rose by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) in October to 30.05 million bpd, as recovering production in Libya offset drops in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, a just-released Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts showed.

The survey estimated a 260,000 bpd month-on-month increase in Libyan production, up from just 90,000 bpd in September to 350,000 bpd in October.

"Even since the end of October, there continues to be hopeful news about the rising supply of Libya oil. For example, Platts reported last week that France's Total soon expects to bring the Mabruk field online soon, adding another 40,000 to 50,000 bpd in supplies," said John Kingston, Platts global director of news. "However, the first rush of new supply should not be plotted as a straight line to getting Libya back to its full capacity. History shows oil output often doesn't return to its pre-strife level after periods of turmoil like Libya has seen."

Kuwait also showed a small increase of 40,000 bpd to 2.6 million bpd.

The biggest single drop came from Saudi Arabia, where output dropped by 140,000 bpd to average 9.6 million bpd in October.

In Nigeria, volumes were down by around 50,000 bpd. Shell lifted a force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil but declared one on Forcados crude exports after an attack on a major pipeline. The company lifted the Forcados force majeure on November 1 after repairing the line.

Angolan volumes were unchanged despite the ramp-up in flows from Total's Pazflor field.

Output from Iraq's biggest producing field, BP's Rumaila, was sharply curtailed for several days after attacks on the southern pipeline system. But, with northern exports up, the outage had little impact on the country's total crude volumes.

OPEC is next scheduled to meet on December 14 in Vienna. Iran, which currently holds the OPEC presidency, will likely press the group to endorse output allocations agreed in late 2008 when oil prices were tumbling amid a deepening global economic recession. The group's June 8 meeting failed to reach agreement on production policy.


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