By Tanvi Acharya, Associate Editor for USDR
Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) climbed above 30 million barrels per day (b/d) in July for the first time since February due to increased output from Libya and Saudi Arabia, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.
July production from the 12-member oil producer group averaged 30.13 million b/d, up 190,000 b/d from June’s 29.94 million b/d, the survey showed.
John Kingston, Platts global director of news said, ”The International Energy Agency’s call for OPEC crude oil in the second half of the year is anywhere between 30.5 million b/d and 30.7 million b/d – numbers far above where OPEC has been producing.”
“This news that OPEC has pushed up above 30 million b/d is certainly good news for any consuming countries fearing upward pressure on prices,” Kingston said. “The one concern, of course, is that based on recent trends, rising Libya production could reverse rapidly.”
Libya had its highest output since January at 440,000 b/d. It was an increase of around 80 percent from June’s output which was at 240,000 b/d.
The Libyan authorities have been able to maintain crude oil production around the 450,000-500,000 b/d level since late July but the political situation in the country continues to raise a question mark over the likelihood of oil production recovering to anywhere near pre-2011 uprising levels of 1.58 million b/d any time soon.
Oil’s largest producer and exporter Saudi Arabia increased production to 9.9 million b/d, continuing its steady rise since March, when output was estimated at 9.6 million b/d, according to the survey.
Increased production from Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, a total of 360,000 b/d, made up for the 170,000 b/d reduction from Angola, Iraq and Nigeria combined.
Oil giant Iraq saw a reduction of 80,000 b/d from June’s output partly due to the Jihadist fighters taking control of a large part of its northern territory, effectively partitioning the country. Baghdad now relies solely on Iraq’s southern export terminals to move crude oil to international markets.
Kuwait, Iran, Venezuela, Qatar, and Ecuador all maintained their production and equaled their level in June.
OPEC will next review its 30-million-b/d output ceiling, which has been in place since January 2012, on November 27. The ceiling does not include individual country quotas.
In June, OPEC said it expected demand for its crude to average 30.4 million b/d in the second half of this year. For 2015, OPEC expects the call on its crude oil to average 29.4 million b/d, a year-on-year drop of 300,000 b/d.
For output numbers by country, click here.