The return of Libyan output and a quota-busting surge of new Iraqi volumes propelled Opec production to a six-month high of 24.52mn b/d in October. This provides Opec+ with a considerable headache just weeks ahead of key ministerial talks over whether to extend the existing cuts into 2021 or proceed with a downward taper in cuts from 1 January as planned.
As it stands, the production cuts are slated to enter their third phase on 1 January 2021, enabling the Opec+ participants to increase production by a cumulative 1.9mn b/d. However, the rapid production rebound in Libya (MEES, 6 November) coupled with heightened concern over the demand outlook as large parts of Europe return to lockdown has raised the prospect of the taper being deferred (MEES, 16 October). (CONTINUED - 908 WORDS)