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Home NEWSLETTER OPEC’s December Oil Output Slumps, Still Near Record High

OPEC’s December Oil Output Slumps, Still Near Record High

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC has boosted production by almost 1.40 million bpd since its November 2014 refusal to cut supply and prop up prices.

Output is not far below July’s 31.88 million bpd, the highest since Reuters records began in 1997.

Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank said:“There is certainly no chance of Saudi Arabia scaling back its oil supply to make space for Iranian oil,” adding the tensions still justify a risk premium on prices because they could escalate, Reuters reports.

“In other words, the existing oversupply may actually grow further in the short term.”


The biggest monthly decline in output came from Iraq, the world’s fastest growing source of supply growth in 2015.

Exports from Iraq’s main outlet, its southern terminals, have slipped from November’s record level which had been boosted by delayed October cargoes, but are likely to reach new highs in the coming months, industry sources said.

Shipments 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 at zero for a third month, the survey found.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia has kept output steady to slightly lower, sources in the survey said, due to less demand from outside the country and largely steady domestic use.

“Directionally, supply is down a little bit,” said a source who tracks Saudi output. Saudi production reached a record high of 10.56 million bpd in June.

Nigerian output declined by 50,000 bpd due to disruptions to exports from the Brass River and Bonny production streams, sources in the survey said.

Output in Iran, eager to reclaim its spot as OPEC’s second-largest producer when sanctions over its nuclear programme are lifted, is edging up, the survey found. Kuwait and Qatar also posted small supply rises.

Indonesia, which rejoined OPEC on December 4 bringing the membership to 13, will be included in the January survey.


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