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OPEC crude oil production rose for the sixth month running in September to stand at its highest level since mid-2013, as Libyan output continued to recover despite the ongoing unrest and security situation in the country’s east. These incremental Libyan barrels were supplemented by additional output in Iraq, where southern exports approached near record levels.
MEES estimates put total output from the group’s 12 members at 30.95mn b/d for September, up a massive 570,000 b/d from a downwardly revised 30.38mn b/d in August (see table).
This boost in OPEC output comes at a delicate time for oil markets, which have seen global oil prices plummet to their lowest level in more than two years, prompting calls for a supply cut from more than one of the producer group’s members. All eyes are on Saudi Arabia, the world’s unofficial swing producer, to lead the way – a burden it appears unwilling to shoulder on its own (MEES, 3 October).
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