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• Crude oil production from OPEC’s members was up close to 400,000 b/d in July versus the previous month to stand at 30.43mn b/d, according to MEES estimates. This represented the fourth month-on-month increase in output from the 12-nation producer group, and came as a partial recovery in Libya and seasonal increase in Saudi production more than compensated for losses in Iraq, Iran and Nigeria.
• Despite this gradual recovery, OPEC output over the first seven months of the year – estimated at 30.06mn b/d – is down around 650,000 b/d relative to the corresponding period last year.
• Libyan output rose by just over 200,000 b/d to 440,000 b/d in July – the highest monthly average since January this year, when production stood at 560,000 b/d. This followed the striking of a deal early last month with the regionalist movement that had for a year occupied key Libyan oil ports; the key ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider were the last to be returned (MEES, 4 July); exports are only just re-starting now. The quick ramp up of production from the key Repsol-operated 340,000 b/d Sharara fields in early July, boosted production to around 500,000 b/d by the second half of July, in spite of an escalation of violence in the country’s two main cities: Tripoli and Benghazi. At present, Libyan production is hovering at around 400,000 b/d (see p2).
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