Reuters: OPEC Oil Output Rises for Fifth Month, as Libyan Production Offsets Cuts

November 30, 2020

Credit: By Maksym Yemelyanov/AdobeStock
Credit: By Maksym Yemelyanov/AdobeStock

OPEC oil output rose for a fifth month in November, a Reuters survey found, as increased Libyan production offset full adherence by other producers to cuts agreed in an OPEC-led supply deal.

The 13-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 25.31 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, the survey found, up 750,000 bpd from October and a further increase from the three-decade low reached in June.

OPEC, Russia and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, are gathering virtually on Monday and Tuesday and will consider whether to extend existing curbs due to weak demand or increase output gradually from January, sources say.

"OPEC+ seem unable to reach an agreement, at least in the run-up to today's meeting," said Eugen Weinberg of Commerzbank.

"That said, the oil market firmly believes that the current production cuts will be maintained for at least another three months," Weinberg added.

Libya, an OPEC member exempted from OPEC+ cuts, has seen a recovery in output that was largely shut down for months. This poses a headache for other producers trying to manage supplies as coronavirus lockdowns prevent a revival in demand.

Meanwhile, OPEC states bound by the supply deal continue to cut more than agreed, the survey found. Compliance with the cutbacks stood at 102% in November, steady from October.

LIBYAN RECOVERY

Libya, a nation politically split between east and west, has boosted production since eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar said in September his forces would lift their eight-month blockade of oil exports.

The survey found output increased by almost 700,000 bpd in November, a faster rebound than some analysts and OPEC officials expected.

Iran and Venezuela, the other two OPEC members exempt from the supply cut, also posted a rise in output, the survey found.

The United Arab Emirates raised supply by 90,000 bpd, the highest rise among those OPEC countries bound by quotas. However, it was still pumping below its target.

Among countries lowering output, the biggest decline was in Nigeria because of involuntary shutdowns following pipeline explosions, while Iraq also pumped slightly less.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia kept output steady, as did Kuwait.

The Reuters survey aims to track supply to the market and is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Refinitiv Eikon flows data, information from tanker-trackers such as Petro-Logistics and Kpler, and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants. 

(Reporting by Alex Lawler; Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar and Rania El Gamal; Editing by Edmund Blair)



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