OPEC Output Up 50,000 Barrels Per Day in September, According to Platts
OPEC's 11 members produced an average 30.31 million barrels per day (mil b/d) of crude in September, 50,000 b/d more than August's 30.26-mil b/d, as Iraqi production recovered towards the 2-mil b/d mark, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed October 7.
Excluding Iraq, however, production from the ten members with now notional crude output quotas dipped by 50,000 b/d to 28.32-mil b/d, the survey showed.
The biggest single increase came from Iraq, whose September production averaged 1.99-mil b/d, up from 1.89-mil b/d in August. Other small increases of 10,000 b/d each came from Saudi Arabia, whose output averaged 9.56-mil b/d, and the UAE, which pumped 2.48-mil b/d.
"From the consumer point of view, this is discouraging in that about the only thing to get excited about is a minor increase in Iraqi production," said John Kingston, global director of oil at Platts. "It's heartening because Iraq looked a few weeks ago like it might have started a downward spiral. But with so much crude production lost from the two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, this report makes clear that there just isn't that much for OPEC to do to alleviate any shortages in the short term."
Iranian production, which had climbed to 4-mil b/d in July and August, fell back by 50,000 b/d to 3.95-mil b/d. Some industry officials said it was becoming increasingly apparent that Iran had reached its current production limit and had joined the ranks of member countries unable to pump their full quotas. The latest estimate of Iranian production leaves Tehran under- producing its 4.11-mil b/d quota by 160,000 b/d.
Iranian underproduction was significantly less than that of Indonesia and Venezuela, however, which showed output declines of 10,000 b/d each in September to 930,000 b/d and 2.61-mil b/d respectively. Indonesia under- produced its 1.451-mil b/d quota by 521,000 b/d while Venezuela under-produced its 3.223-mil b/d quota by 613,000 b/d.
OPEC's current crude output ceiling is set at 28-mil b/d, but the group has encouraged overproduction beyond this level in hope of cooling down overheating oil prices.
That has proved a vain hope, not least because - with the exception of Saudi Arabia - most OPEC member countries are unable to pump more than they are currently producing. Between April and September, OPEC has increased production by just 350,000 b/d despite the price surge that took US West Texas Intermediate crude futures from just under $51/bbl on May 2 to more than $70/bbl in late August as Hurricane Katrina hit the southern US. WTI was trading Friday between $61 and $62/bbl - still more than $10/bbl higher than prices of early May.
Country-by-country breakdown of production with figures in millions of b/d: Country Sept 05 Aug 05 July 05 June 05 May 05 Apr 05 Quota Algeria 1.350 1.350 1.340 1.330 1.310 1.300 0.894 Indonesia 0.930 0.940 0.940 0.950 0.950 0.950 1.451 Iran 3.950 4.000 4.000 3.990 3.980 3.950 4.110 Iraq 1.990 1.890 1.960 1.850 1.820 1.860 N/A Kuwait 2.550 2.550 2.550 2.550 2.550 2.500 2.247 Libya 1.650 1.650 1.650 1.630 1.630 1.620 1.500 Nigeria 2.450 2.450 2.450 2.450 2.400 2.370 2.306 Qatar 0.790 0.790 0.780 0.780 0.780 0.780 0.726 Saudi Arabia 9.560 9.550 9.500 9.500 9.550 9.500 9.099 UAE 2.480 2.470 2.450 2.430 2.400 2.450 2.444 Venezuela 2.610 2.620 2.630 2.640 2.650 2.680 3.223 Total 30.310 30.260 30.250 30.100 30.020 29.960 N/A OPEC 10 28.320 28.370 28.290 28.250 28.200 28.100 28.000 (excluding Iraq)
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