Opec October oil output jumps on swift Saudi recovery

LONDON: 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.
Initially expected to take months, Saudi Arabia’s production recovery from the September 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.
Opec, Russia and other oil producer allies, known as Opec+, are reducing supply by 1.2 million bpd from January 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 October 9 halted crude sales because at least 20 fields suspended operations amid protests against government austerity measures. State oil company Petroecuador resumed crude exports on October 20.
Saudi Arabia has pumped 9.90 million bpd, up 850,0000 bpd from September, the survey found.
Supply increases elsewhere in the group were much smaller.
Venezuela, which is contending with US sanctions on state oil company PDVSA and a long-term decline in output, managed to boost supply. A domestic refining complex resumed production and, sources said, exports increased in October.
Production in the two other exempt producers, Libya and Iran, was little changed.
The United Arab Emirates has lifted exports, according to traders and a company that tracks shipments. Still, oil production was only up slightly in October.
After Ecuador, Opec’s next largest supply drop was in Iraq, which has exported less crude from its northern ports according to the survey. Opec’s second-largest producer is continuing to exceed its OPEC target. — Reuters