OPEC Pumps 29.11MM bopd in August - Platts Survey

Crude oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) averaged 29.11 million barrels per day (b/d) in August, down 110,000 b/d from an estimated 29.22 million b/d in July, according to a just-released Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.

"The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week reported the highest-ever level of total U.S. petroleum inventories, and with refining margins in much of the world sliding, it’s no surprise that OPEC may have found a little less appetite on the part of its customers for its product," said John Kingston, Platts global director of news.

Excluding Iraq, which does not participate in OPEC production agreements, the 11 members bound by quotas (OPEC-11) pumped an average 26.79 million b/d in August, down 30,000 b/d from an estimated 26.82 million b/d in July.

The August estimates show that the OPEC-11 exceeded its 24.845 million b/d target by 1.945 million b/d. This achieved a compliance rate of 53.7% with the 4.2 million b/d of output cuts agreed in late 2008 and which came into force in January 2009.

Decreases totaling 150,000 b/d from Iran, Nigeria, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iraq were partly offset by a 40,000 b/d increase in Angolan volumes. The biggest single production drop came from Iraq.

OPEC, which is 50 years old this month, is next scheduled to meet on October 14 in Vienna. Ministers have given no indication of any move to change the current production agreement.

The oil producing organization does not have an official price target but has informally adopted a range of $70-$80 per barrel (/b) as an appropriate level for both producing and consuming countries. International crude benchmarks are currently trading near the middle of that range.