‘OPEC oil production of 31.4mn bpd highest since August 2012’

oilbarrels-SergioRusso-flickrOil production by OPEC nations in July has totalled 31.4mn bpd, up 120,000 bpd from June 2015

The Platts survey of OPEC nations’ oil production has revealed that Saudi Arabia pumped an additional 100,000 bpd, accounting for almost the entire increase in oil pumped last month. Angola pumped 50,000 bpd, UAE 30,000 bpd and Iran 20,000 bpd. Algeria, Libya and Nigeria collectively pumped 80,000 bpd, revealed Platts’ survey.

Senior correspondent Margaret McQuaile said, “OPEC is now pumping at its highest level in three years, and that’s before Iran comes back at full throttle. At some point, something will have to give, but that time may be some way off.”

Since August 2012, July’s total oil volume pumped is now the highest by OPEC. However, despite the decline in oil prices (below US$50 a barrel) coupled with additional inflow from Iran in a few months, there is no sign that OPEC’s Saudi Arabia-drive market share policy is about to change anytime soon, stated McQuaile. OPEC was earlier trying to limit production within the 30mn bpd ceiling, which came into play in January 2012. Though this is OPEC’s official output volume, there is no mechanism to enforce it.

Iran’s oil production post sanctions
Iran’s sanctions, that were lifted in July, will likely be finalised in December. Following the lifting of sanctions, the country could supply an additional one million bpd. This is after Tehran’s crude exports were brought down to one million bpd from former levels of nearly 2.3mn bpd.

Iran’s contribution to the oil volume is expected to bring about some change in the market share, stated the Platts report. The country has made it clear that priority would be given to the emerging Asian markets for exports. However, within Asia, there is rising competition from several competitors who are trying to find new markets for barrels no longer needed in the USA. Iraq is already exporting eastward.

Russia is already beginning to challenge traditional supply rankings in Asia, noted the survey.

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