OPEC production up 230,000 bpd in October
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members pumped a combined 27.51 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in October, up 230,000 bpd from September levels as Iraqi output continued to recover, a Platts survey shows.
Iraqi production rose from 1.43 million bpd in September to 1.7 million bpd in October, an increase of 270,000 bpd. Excluding Iraq, the ten members with quotas under an overall ceiling of 25.4 million bpd produced an average 25.81 million bpd over the month, a 40,000 bpd dip from September's 25.81 million bpd, the survey showed.
These ten members exceeded their ceiling, which was superseded by a new, lower ceiling of 24.5 million bpd November 1, by 410,000 bpd. They will have to cut output by more than 1. 3 million bpd in November in order to meet the new ceiling, agreed in a surprise decision at OPEC's last meeting on September 24.
"Given current high prices, there was little incentive for producers to rein in output," said Global Director of Oil at Platts, John Kingston. The OPEC basket stood at $28.30 per barrel of oil on Monday, above the cartel's $22-28 target band.
Among the OPEC-10, cuts totaling 130,000 bpd from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar were partly offset by 90,000 bpd in increases from Indonesia, Kuwait, Nigeria and Venezuela. But despite having increased production month-on-month, Venezuela-whose production problems have continued in the wake of last winter's two-month crippling strike-and Indonesia failed to produce their respective quotas to the tune of more than 300,000 bpd each. All other members with quotas exceeded them.
Attention is becoming increasingly focused on the quota issue as member countries work to expand their production capacity through foreign investment. Algeria, Libya and Nigeria are openly seeking bigger shares of OPEC production. Algeria overproduced its 811,000 bpd quota by 359,000 bpd in October and is thought unlikely to shave volumes in November in line with its new lower quota of 782,000 bpd.
Libya, according to prime minister Shokri Ghanem during a visit to London last week, is currently capable of producing 1.7 million bpd. Ghanem said Tripoli's top oil official, Abdulhafid Zlitni who heads the National Oil Co and Libya's OPEC delegation, had been instructed to ask OPEC for a disproportionate increase in its quota. Ghanem could not say, however, whether Zlitni would submit the request at the next meeting on December 4, nor did he say how much of an increase in its quota Libya was seeking. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)