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OPEC’s October Output Compliance Little Changed at 55%, IEA Says

OPEC’s compliance with record supply cuts was little changed last month as production increases in six of its member countries offset declines in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, the International Energy Agency said.

The 11 members bound by quotas produced 26.72 million barrels a day last month, implying compliance of 55 percent, the Paris-based IEA said today in its monthly report. That’s down from a revised 56 percent for September. Supply from all 12 nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, including Iraq, fell by 40,000 barrels a day in October to average 29.15 million barrels daily, it said.

“OPEC monthly production fluctuations have stayed in a remarkably stable range this year, within a narrow band of under 300,000 barrels a day,” the agency said.

OPEC, responsible for about 40 percent of world crude supply, announced its biggest ever production cuts in late 2008 as global demand collapsed. The decision set a cap at 24.845 million barrels a day for 11 of its members. Adherence to the reduction eased last year as prices rebounded 78 percent.

The compliance percentages are calculated based on the 11 nations targeting a 4.2 million barrel-a-day reduction from a base production rate of 29.045 million barrels a day in September 2008.

OPEC kept output quotas unchanged at an Oct. 14 meeting in Vienna and will meet next on Dec. 11 in Quito, Ecuador.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer and the member conforming best with the output cuts, produced 8.24 million barrels a day in October, down 40,000 barrels a day from September, the IEA estimated.

Iraq moved closer this month to solving a political deadlock over forming a new government, and “it is hoped that the new government will lead to a more stable and secure operating environment for the international oil companies working there,” the IEA said.

OPEC’s 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Iraq is exempt from the quota system.

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