Production drops in Saudi Arabia and Iraq were the primary reasons for a decline of 120,000 barrels a day in crude oil production among the 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). According to a recent report from Platts, OPEC production totaled 31.08 million barrels a day in October, its lowest total since May.
In OPEC’s own Monthly Oil Market Report for November, published just last week, OPEC reported that secondary sources reported the cartel’s October production at 31.38 million barrels a day, down by 256,000 barrels a day compared with October 2014. The Platts total is based on a survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.
A senior correspondent for Platts said:
OPEC output has now dropped over three consecutive months, but it would be a mistake to think that this might signal a move away from the group’s market share strategy when ministers meet next month in Vienna. In fact, all the signs, including an expected contraction in non-OPEC supply next year, suggest that the likelihood of a policy change is pretty small.
Among OPEC countries, only two posted production increases during October: Libya, up 50,000 barrels a day, and Nigeria, up 80,000 barrels a day. Saudi Arabia production fell by 160,000 barrels a day, Iraqi production fell by 70,000 barrels a day and Angola’s production fell by 20,000 barrels a day. There were no production changes in the other seven OPEC member countries.
Saudi Arabia exports rose in October, but the country’s internal demand for oil fell as temperatures moderated and lowered demand for air conditioning. The country can use up to 900,000 barrels a day to generate electricity for cooling during the peak summer months.