December 11, 2007

Iraq increasing oil output as total OPEC oil output increases in November

London, England – Overall oil production by the twelve members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose to 31.15 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, up 40,000 bpd from October. A report by energy and commodities information firm Platt says that the rise is due to higher volumes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which helped offset a large drop in UAE output related to field maintenance.

Excluding Iraq and Angola, the ten OPEC members bound by new output allocations that came into effect at the beginning of November pumped 26.97 million bpd, down 110,000 bpd from October. Most members increased production, with Iran and Kuwait boosting output by around 50,000 bpd each; Angola by 30,000 bpd; and Algeria, Libya, Nigeria and Qatar at around 10,000 bpd.

Saudi Arabia, one of OPEC’s key producers, pumped an average 9 million bpd during the month, up 200,000 bpd from recent production levels, while Iraq’s output rose 120,000 bpd in November to 2.4 million bpd, the highest since the 2003 war.

“For consumers, it’s encouraging to see Saudi Arabia above the 9 million barrel per day mark,” said John Kingston, Platts Global Director of Oil. “At Platts, we had seen some signs that more oil was coming on the market, with one of the most visible indicators being the rise in tanker freight rates. That was an indication that more ships were being chartered to move more oil. These numbers justify that assumption. It’s also encouraging to see the sustained improvement out of Iraq. And the fact that this rise in output occurred while the UAE was undergoing significant oil field maintenance is another hopeful sign for additional supply injections down the road.”

OPEC ministers, who met in Abu Dhabi on December 5, decided to maintain current output limits, set at 27.253 million bpd for the OPEC-10. They also assigned output allocations of 1.9 million bpd to Angola, which joined OPEC last January, and 520,000 bpd to Ecuador, which resumed its OPEC membership in November. The ministers will meet again in Vienna on February 1, 2008.

Connect with