OPEC August Oil Output Hits 2018 High

OPEC August Oil Output Hits 2018 High

Saturday, 1 September, 2018 - 05:30
A worker attaches a poster of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at its headquarters in Vienna. AP file photo
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
OPEC oil output has risen this month to a 2018 high as Libyan production recovered and Iraq's southern exports hit a record, a Reuters survey found, although a cut in Iranian shipments due to US sanctions limited the increase.

The 15-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 32.79 million barrels per day in August, the survey on Friday found, up 220,000 bpd from July's revised level and the highest this year.

OPEC and allies agreed in June to boost supply as US President Donald Trump urged producers to offset losses caused by the renewed sanctions on Iran and to dampen prices, which this year hit $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

In June, OPEC, Russia and other non-members agreed to return to 100 percent compliance with oil output cuts that began in January 2017, after months of underproduction in Venezuela and elsewhere pushed adherence above 160 percent.

OPEC's adherence with supply targets has actually risen to 120 percent in August from a revised 117 percent in July, the survey found, because extra barrels from Saudi Arabia and others did not fully offset losses in Iran and declining output in Venezuela and Angola.

The biggest increase in supplies this month has come from Libya, whose output remains volatile due to unrest.

Production at the Sharara oilfield, the country's largest, increased after the restart of a control station that had been closed due to the kidnapping of two workers, and other fields also pumped more.

The second-largest increase came from Iraq, where southern exports reached a record high. Shipments also increased from the north, leaving Iraq as OPEC's least compliant member in August according to the survey.

Supply in Nigeria, which like Libya is exempt from the OPEC supply cut pact because its output is often curbed by unplanned outages due to unrest and conflict, rose by 30,000 bpd.

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, after raising output in July following the OPEC deal, kept supply steady in August, the survey found.

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