Crude oil output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell 110,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 30.34 million b/d in July from 30.45 million b/d in June, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts showed Thursday.
“When the consuming world wonders why oil prices remain relatively high, the Libyan production drop-off cited in our report is a reason,” said John Kingston, Platts global director of oil, “as well as the declines seen from South Sudan, Egypt, Syria, and in particular, the decline in Nigeria, though it rose slightly this month.”
The key production increases are coming from: the United States, Canada, and swing producer Saudi Arabia.
“Ultimately, it’s a lot of heavy lifting for those three countries, given the shortfalls in so many other locations,” Kingston noted.
A 130,000 b/d increase from OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia failed to offset the 200,000 b/d month-over-month crude output drop in Libya, where production and exports have been affected by strikes about pay and conditions as well as protesters demanding oil sector employment. Libyan crude output was estimated at an average 1 million b/d in July.
Libya’s main oil export terminals at Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina remained closed this week. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said last week that crude exports had dropped by more than 70% to just 330,000 b/d. Nuri Berruien, head of the National Oil Corporation, told Platts in early August that output had dropped to around 820,000 b/d.
Output increases, albeit small, were seen in Kuwait and in Nigeria last month, where the Trans-Niger pipeline briefly came back on stream before being shut down again after a new leak.
Output from sanctions-strapped Iran dipped by 20,000 b/d to 2.66 million b/d. Iraqi production fell for the third consecutive month, to 2.98 million b/d in July from 3 million b/d in June, 3.1 million b/d in May and 3.15 million b/d in April. Angolan production fell by 30,000 b/d to 1.75 million b/d.
OPEC exceeded its overall production ceiling of 30 million b/d by 340,000 b/d in July. The group agreed at its Vienna meeting in June to maintain the ceiling established in January 2012 but which does not include individual country quotas.