OPEC oil production slumps by 80,000 bpd in July

Aug 03, 2016 12:00 AM

OPEC’s crude oil output was disrupted in July by militant attacks in Nigeria and political disputes in Libya..

Output from the 13 established members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding new entrant Gabon, fell by 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) last month, the survey found.

Nigeria led the decline with a 70,000 bpd monthly drop to 1.52mn, while Libya and Saudi Arabia reduced output by 20,000 and 40,000 bpd respectively.

Gabon joined OPEC on July 1, becoming the smallest member with average output of 210,000 barrels a day. The African nation initially joined the group in 1975, but ended its membership 20 years later.

Since the group expanded to 14 nations, total production in July actually increased to 33.24mn bpd from 33.11mn the prior month.

Nigeria has suffered steep crude output losses this year as militant attacks targeted oil infrastructure. Production in May fell to the lowest level in more than 27 years.

While output recovered in June, it fell again in July following the disruption of supplies to the Qua Iboe terminal, which shipped an average of 342,000 barrels a day last year.

Libya’s production fell by 20,000 bpd to 300,000 in July. The Arabian Gulf Oil Co. halted output at the Sarir field last month after a protest by oil-facility guards shut the Eastern port of Hariga, blocking exports.

The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord reached a deal with guards last week to reopen Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, two of its biggest oil terminals that have been closed since 2014, although shipments have yet to resume.

Output disruptions helped raise West Texas Intermediate crude as high as $51.67 a barrel on June 9. The benchmark has since fallen back into a bear market amid signs that the decline in US output is stabilising and concerns about the strength of demand.

Iranian production gains continued, rising by 20,000 barrels a day to 3.55mn in July. Sanctions on the country’s oil industry were lifted in January following an accord on its nuclear programme, driving an almost 25% rise in its production.

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