OPEC oil gushes ahead of talks to cut output
THE Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped oil at record levels last month even though the cartel aims to agree a production cut in less than three weeks in an effort to boost prices.
OPEC agreed in September to trim production but the accord still has to be finalised on November 30 in Vienna.
In its November monthly report, OPEC said that its 14 members pumped 33.64 million barrels a day (mb/d) in October, 236,000 barrels more than in September.
Saudi Arabia’s output fell 51,700 bpd to 10.5 mb/d but Iraq and Iran, the next biggest producers, registered increases, as did Libya and Nigeria, the report said.
Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch foe, in particular is keen to keep the taps open following the lifting of international sanctions under last year’s landmark nuclear deal.
The OPEC report chimed broadly with figures released by the International Energy Agency, which put cartel output at 33.8 mb/d.
The IEA said this was “well in excess” of the 32.5 mb/d to 33.0 mb/d range agreed by OPEC in Algiers in September.
“This means that OPEC must agree to significant cuts in Vienna to turn its Algiers commitment into reality,” the IEA added.
The September agreement lifted oil prices but they remain hovering at around US$45 per barrel. –