Platts: OPEC Output Bolstered by Iraqi Volumes

Total crude-oil production from the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) in September, to 30.76 million b/d from 30.46 million b/d in August, as Iraqi volumes recovered and several other member countries further relaxed existing production constraints ahead of a formal output hike in November, a Platts survey showed October 11.

Supply from the 10 members bound by output agreements rose to 26.87 million b/d from 26.79 million b/d in August, an increase of 80,000 b/d, the survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed. Iraq, which does not participate in production pacts, accounted for the larger part of the 300,000 b/d month-on-month increase in OPEC-12 output. Several other countries boosted volumes by a collective 120,000 b/d.

"The 300,000 barrels-per-day increase in output is significant, and is a good sign not only heading into the fourth quarter but also the period beginning in November, when OPEC is to raise production further, as previously announced," said John Kingston, global director of oil at Platts. "Some of the increases are small, but they're positive nonetheless, such as the higher output from Nigeria and Angola. There's still a large fourth-quarter gap between anticipated supply and demand, and OPEC will be hard-pressed to fill it. But whatever steps it is taking to fill that difference will mean less of an inventory drawdown, which is positive for consumers."

Angola, also currently exempt from output pacts, pushed output up to 1.72 million b/d from 1.68 million b/d in August, edging closer to the 2 million b/d it is targeting by the end of this year.

Among the OPEC-10, supply from Saudi Arabia averaged 8.7 million b/d, up from 8.66 million b/d in August but well below the 8.943 million b/d allocation that comes into effect on November 1 as part of OPEC's September 11 agreement to boost actual supply by 500,000 b/d.

Nigerian supply rose to 2.18 million b/d in September from 2.15 million b/d in August.

OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its own output, agreed to use estimated August production of around 26.75 million b/d for the OPEC-10 as a baseline for its 500,000 b/d increase rather than the previous notional target of 25.8 million b/d.

The group did not formally publish the breakdown of the new 27.253 million b/d output target, but the allocations appeared briefly on OPEC's website.

                                                                       Nov 1
    Country       September     August       July        June         target
    Algeria           1.360      1.360      1.350       1.350          1.357
    Indonesia         0.830      0.830      0.830       0.830          0.865
    Iran              3.880      3.880      3.900       3.880          3.817
    Kuwait            2.420      2.420      2.420       2.420          2.531
    Libya             1.700      1.690      1.680       1.680          1.712
    Nigeria           2.180      2.150      2.150       2.080          2.163
    Qatar             0.810      0.810      0.810       0.800          0.828
    Arabia            8.700      8.660      8.610       8.610          8.943
    UAE               2.590      2.590      2.560       2.550          2.567
    Venezuela         2.400      2.400      2.400       2.400          2.470
    OPEC-10          26.870     26.790     26.710      26.600         27.253
    Angola*           1.720      1.680      1.670       1.640           N/A
    Iraq              2.170      1.990      2.120       1.980           N/A
    Total            30.760     30.460     30.500      30.220
    * Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.

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