OPEC oil output rose for a third straight month, up by almost 173,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July due to production increase in Libya, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - the group’s current leader heralding a production cut.
Total oil production by the 14 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose to 32.87 million barrels per day in July, according to five secondary sources the cartel uses to monitor production.
Crude oil output increased mostly in Libya, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia, while production showed declines in Iraq, Angola and Venezuela, OPEC said in its August monthly oil report.
OPEC agreed to cut output by about 1.2 million bpd until the end of March 2018 to reduce a glut and support prices. Russia and 10 other non-OPEC states agreed to cut half as much.
OPEC leaders met in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss ways that laggards (mainly Iraq and UAE) could comply with their production quotas.
July data shows that Iraq, Algeria, Ecuador, Qatar, the UAE and Gabon produced more than their agreed output levels.
Output jumped in recent weeks in Nigeria and Libya, the two countries exempt from production cuts due to prolonged conflict that has on occasion targeted oil and gas assets.
Libya pumped 1.001 million bpd in July, up from 847,000 in June. Nigerian production rose to 1.75 million bpd, up from 1.71 million bpd in the previous month.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia which produces the most, increased output by 31,800 bpd to hit 10.001 million bpd. The Kingdom in July failed to provide its own figures measuring Saudi production or direct communication to OPEC.
The increase takes Saudi production close to OPEC’s target of 10.058 million bpd for the second month this year, although on average in 2017, output remains below the target.
OPEC’s monthly market report revised demand growth upwards for 2017, by 100,000 bpd to almost 1.4 million bpd. Total oil demand is anticipated to average 96.5 million bpd this year.
It also revised production from non-OPEC countries downwards, led by the US, by 28,000 bpd. Total output from outside of the cartel is forecast at 57.8 million bpd.
US rig count halted its upward momentum in July to show its largest decline since the rebound in May 2016. The number of active rigs in the US dropped by four units during the week ending 4 August to total 954 rigs, according to Baker Hughes data.