Total OPEC Oil Output Rose 40,000 bpd in November

Overall oil production by the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose to 31.15 million barrels per day (b/d) in November, according to Platts' latest survey of OPEC and oil industry officials just released. This is up 40,000 b/d from October's production of 31.11 million b/d, as higher volumes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq helped offset a large field maintenance-related drop in UAE output.

Excluding Iraq and Angola, the ten OPEC members bound by new output allocations which came into effect at the beginning of November, pumped 26.97 million b/d, down 110,000 b/d from October's 27.08 million b/d.

Most members increased production; Iran and Kuwait boosting output by around 50,000 b/d each and Angola by 30,000 b/d, with smaller increases of around 10,000 b/d coming from Algeria, Libya, Nigeria and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, one of OPEC's key producers, pumped an average 9 million b/d during the month, up 200,000 b/d from recent production levels. Iraq's output rose 120,000 b/d in November to 2.4 million b/d, the highest since the 2003 war.

"For consumers, it's encouraging to see Saudi Arabia above the 9 million barrel per day mark," said Platts Global Director of Oil John Kingston. "At Platts, we had seen some signs that more oil was coming on the market, with one of the most visible indicators being the rise in tanker freight rates. That was an indication that more ships were being chartered to move more oil. These numbers justify that assumption. It's also encouraging to see the sustained improvement out of Iraq. And the fact that this rise in output occurred while the UAE was undergoing significant oil field maintenance is another hopeful sign for additional supply injections down the road."

Field maintenance that affected UAE production had been anticipated by the marketplace. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company had signaled the likely November maintenance of its Upper Zakum, Lower Zakum and Umm Shaif offshore oilfields in advance, saying in September that it had worked with its customers to ensure minimum disruption by advancing the majority of exports. As a result, total UAE output fell to 2.15 million b/d in November, down from an average of 2.6 million b/d in October.

OPEC ministers, who met in Abu Dhabi last Wednesday, December 5th, decided to maintain current output limits, set at 27.253 million b/d for the OPEC-10, and to meet again in Vienna on February 1, 2008.

They also assigned output allocations of 1.9 million b/d to Angola, which joined OPEC last January, and 520,000 b/d to Ecuador which resumed its OPEC membership at OPEC's November 17-18 heads of state summit in the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Including these two countries, OPEC's output target is set to rise to 29.673 million b/d in January 2008.

    Country      November    October     September     August     Nov 1 target
    Algeria        1.390      1.380        1.360       1.360        1.357
    Indonesia      0.830      0.830        0.830       0.830        0.865
    Iran           3.950      3.900        3.880       3.880        3.817
    Kuwait         2.500      2.450        2.420       2.420        2.531
    Libya          1.720      1.710        1.700       1.690        1.712
    Nigeria        2.200      2.190        2.180       2.150        2.163
    Qatar          0.830      0.820        0.810       0.810        0.828
    Saudi Arabia   9.000      8.800        8.700       8.660        8.943
    UAE            2.150      2.600        2.590       2.590        2.567
    Venezuela      2.400      2.400        2.400       2.400        2.470
    OPEC-10       26.970     27.080       26.870      26.790       27.253
    Angola*        1.780      1.750        1.720       1.680         N/A
    Iraq           2.400      2.280        2.170       1.990         N/A
    Total         31.150     31.110       30.760      30.460         N/A

    * Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007