Platts Survey: OPEC Pumps 31.11 mb/d in October, up 350,000 b/d

The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped an average 31.11 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil in October, or a 350,000 b/d increase from September, largely on higher volumes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, a Platts survey showed November 13.

Output from the ten members which participate in production pacts rose by 210,000 b/d to 27.08 million b/d, to within 173,000 b/d of the new 27.253 million b/d official target which became effective at the beginning of November, the survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed.

The biggest increases came from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, where output rose 100,000 b/d to 8.8 million b/d and by 110,000 b/d to 2.28 million b/d, respectively. The latter production up tick was largely due to higher exports from the Turkish Mediterranean port Ceyhan.

"The October survey results are good news for consumers, who haven't had much to smile about recently," said John Kingston, Platts global director of oil. "The fact that Iraqi output is up again is very encouraging, especially against a backdrop of news reports about some parts of the country stabilizing. It could be that output from the Iraqi fields, especially those in the north, are no longer hanging by a thread and may be seen as more reliable going forward. It's still a long way to get back to the almost 3 million barrels per day that was being produced just a few months before the March 2003 invasion by the US, but the trends are positive."

Other smaller increases generally ranged between 10,000-30,000 b/d. Angolan output continued its steady climb towards the 2.0 million b/d it is targeting by the end of this year as new production came on stream. Nigerian volumes, still constrained by the ongoing strife in the key Niger Delta producing region, edged up slightly to 2.19 million b/d, the survey showed.

Neither Angola, which joined OPEC in January 2007, nor Iraq participates in OPEC output agreements, though Angola is expected to join the quota system at the beginning of 2008.

US light crude futures traded at a record $98.62/barrel on November 7 and top oil consuming countries have been calling for more oil from OPEC, which continues to insist that there is no shortage of crude oil in world markets and that the high oil prices are being driven by factors beyond supply and demand.

OPEC heads of state are set to meet in Saudi Arabia on November 17-18, but several ministers and senior delegates have said a decision in Riyadh on a new production increase is unlikely. A ministerial is scheduled for December 5 in Abu Dhabi.

    Country       October   September  August   July     Nov. 1
    Algeria        1.380      1.360    1.360    1.350    1.357
    Indonesia      0.830      0.830    0.830    0.830    0.865
    Iran           3.900      3.880    3.880    3.900    3.817
    Kuwait         2.450      2.420    2.420    2.420    2.531
    Libya          1.710      1.700    1.690    1.680    1.712
    Nigeria        2.190      2.180    2.150    2.150    2.163
    Qatar          0.820      0.810    0.810    0.810    0.828
    Saudi          8.800      8.700    8.660    8.610    8.943
    UAE            2.600      2.590    2.590    2.560    2.567
    Venezuela      2.400      2.400    2.400    2.400    2.470
    OPEC-10       27.080     26.870   26.790   26.710   27.253
    Angola*        1.750      1.720    1.680    1.670      N/A
    Iraq           2.280      2.170    1.990    2.120      N/A
    Total         31.110     30.760   30.460   30.500      N/A

    * Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.