The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted crude production last month as Angola, Nigeria and Libya pumped more, the group said.
Output from OPEC, which supplies 40 percent of the world’s oil, climbed to 31.41 million barrels a day in August versus 31.16 million the previous month, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said in its Monthly Oil Market Report today. The production level remains above a 30 million barrel target that the group set at a meeting in December.
Increased production coincided with a 9.2 percent advance in Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange during August. The benchmark oil grade rose 0.2 percent to $115.06 a barrel in London trading today.
Angola’s output rose about 12 percent last month to 1.85 million barrels a day, while Nigeria climbed to 2.18 million, according to the OPEC survey, which cites secondary sources for its information. Angola’s loading program for July was partly reduced by an incident at the Girassol field that caused Total SA to delay some shipments.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, pumped 9.86 million barrels in August versus 9.85 million in July, OPEC said, citing secondary sources. The kingdom also provided data to OPEC, which showed production at 9.75 million.
Iraq retained its position as the group’s second-largest producer, supplying 3.11 million barrels a day, outpacing Iran for a third month.
Iran Output Falls
Iran’s crude output dropped 13,000 barrels a day to 2.77 million barrels a day last month, according to OPEC’s survey of secondary sources. Iran said in its direct communication with OPEC that it produced 3.75 million in August, which was little changed from the previous month. Iran had by far the largest divergence between direct communication and secondary source production estimates among OPEC members, showing analysts lack confidence in the country’s official data.
A European Union ban on imports of Iranian oil came into full effect in July.
OPEC’s 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.