OPEC November oil output rises, led by Iraq, Saudi

OPEC supply has risen in November to 31.77mn bpd from 31.64mn bpd in October

OPEC has boosted production by about 1.50mn bpd since its November 2014 policy shift.
OPEC has boosted production by about 1.50mn bpd since its November 2014 policy shift.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) oil output has risen in November from the previous month, a Reuters survey says.

OPEC supply has risen in November to 31.77mn barrels per day (bpd) from 31.64mn bpd in October, according to the survey, based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.

The increase was led by a rebound in Iraqi exports, after bad weather had temporarily halted supply growth from the group's second-largest producer.

OPEC has boosted production by about 1.50mn bpd since its November 2014 policy shift. Output is not far below July's 31.88mn bpd, the highest since Reuters records began in 1997.

The biggest monthly rise in output has come from Iraq, the world's fastest growing source of supply this year. Exports from Iraq's main outlet, its southern terminals, have risen in November to at least 3.06mn bpd. October's figure was lower than expected as bad weather delayed shipments.

Exports from Iraq's north by the Kurdistan Regional Government via Ceyhan in Turkey have edged lower, while those by Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation have remained zero for a second month, the survey found.

An increase has also come from Saudi Arabia, sources in the survey said, as the kingdom sent more crude abroad and used more in refineries, outweighing a seasonal drop in usage in domestic power plants.

"November exports and refinery runs are up compared to October by more than direct burn was down," said one of the sources who tracks Saudi output. "So, supply to the market is up in November."

Saudi output, at 10.25mn bpd in this survey, is not far from the record high of 10.56mn bpd it pumped in June.

Output declined in OPEC's two West African producers, Angola and Nigeria, the survey found. Libyan output, which was already at a fraction of the pre-conflict rate, edged lower in November.

Supply from Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer until sanctions forced a cut in exports in 2012, stayed flat in November, the survey found. A lifting of sanctions on Iran has the potential to boost OPEC output further in 2016.

The increase indicates that the OPEC is again pumping close to a record high as Saudi Arabia and other big producers focus on market share. OPEC meets on December 4 in Vienna to review the policy, with no change expected.

The OPEC meeting on Friday comes almost a year after its historic decision, led by Saudi Arabia, to refuse to prop up prices. Oil has more than halved in 18 months due to persistent oversupply, but even those in the OPEC who want a change in approach do not expect one.

"I am seeing that Saudi Arabia will not change its position," said an OPEC delegate from a non-GCC country which favours supply restraint. "No favourable outcome will be reached at the next meeting."

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