OPEC oil output hits record on Iraq, Libya boost: Reuters survey
By Alex Lawler
LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC's oil output is likely to reach its highest in recent history in September, a Reuters survey found on Friday, as Iraq boosted northern exports and Libya reopened some of its main oil terminals.
The increase comes despite lower output in top exporter Saudi Arabia and this week's agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Algeria to limit supply to support prices, its first such decision since 2008.
Supply from OPEC has risen to 33.60 million barrels per day (bpd) in September from a revised 33.53 million bpd in August, according to the survey based on shipping data and information from industry sources.
The rise in output could add to scepticism about OPEC's ability to allocate its new production target of between 32.50 million and 33 million bpd, a task ministers left until a meeting in November. Oil rallied towards $50 a barrel on Thursday but was trading near $49 on Friday.
"The agreement still leaves hard and difficult negotiations for the individual caps to be set," said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB.
"Now, with an OPEC curb on the cards for the first time in eight years, Brent crude is not even able to lift above $50. At least not yet."
Supply has risen since OPEC in 2014 dropped its historic role of fixing output to prop up prices as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran pumped more. Production has also climbed due to the return of Indonesia in 2015 and Gabon in July as members.
The membership changes have skewed historical comparisons. September's supply from OPEC excluding Gabon and Indonesia, at 32.65 million bpd, is the highest in Reuters survey records starting in 1997. Continued...