OPEC October oil output rises on swift Saudi recovery-Survey


OPEC oil output has bounced in October from an eight-year low as a rapid recovery in Saudi Arabian production from attacks on oil plants more than offset losses in Ecuador and voluntary curbs under a supply pact, a Reuters survey found.

The 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has pumped 29.59 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, the survey showed, up 690,000 from September’s revised figure which was the lowest monthly total since 2011.

Nigeria, which has consistently been pumping more than its OPEC target, continued to do so in October, the survey found. Nigeria’s rate of compliance improved because the country received a higher target under the deal, details of which became public earlier this month.

Initially expected to take months, Saudi Arabia’s production recovery from the Sept. 14 attacks took only weeks. Oil LCOc1 has slipped to $60 a barrel after a spike to $72 following the attacks, and analysts expect the kingdom to continue its efforts to support the market.

“Saudi Arabia will step up its production cuts if necessary in order to keep the oil market balanced and ensure at least stable prices,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank.

OPEC, Russia and other oil producer allies, known as OPEC+, are reducing supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1. OPEC’s share of the cut is about 800,000 bpd, to be delivered by 11 members, with exemptions for Iran, Libya, and Venezuela.

The 11 OPEC members bound by the agreement, which now runs until March 2020, have been easily exceeding the pledged cuts. Compliance has fallen to 140 per cent in October due to the rise in Saudi output, the survey found, from 222 per cent in September.

OPEC’s largest production drop was in Ecuador, which on Oct. 9 halted crude sales because of at least 20 fields suspended operations amid protests against government austerity measures.

Saudi Arabia has pumped 9.90 million bpd, up 850,0000 bpd from September, the survey found.

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