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OPEC August crude output increases to one-year high in survey

MARK SHENK

VIENNA, Austria (Bloomberg) -- OPEC crude oil production increased to a one-year high in August, led by surging output in Nigeria, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Production by the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose by 891,000 bpd to 31.033 million, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Last month’s total was revised 80,000 bpd lower to 30.142 million because of changes to the Nigerian and Iranian estimates.

Nigeria’s production climbed 380,000 bpd to 2.3 million in August, the most since January 2006. It was the biggest one-month gain in data going back to 1989. Output is often disrupted by unrest in the Niger River delta, the country’s main oil-producing region, leading companies to declare force majeure, a legal step that protects them from liability when they can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control.

“Nigeria is up a lot and a lot of the force majeures expired,” Amrita Sen, chief oil market analyst for Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said by phone. “There were no real disruptions this month, which in the case of Nigeria is a big deal.”

Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest producer, bolstered output by 160,000 bpd to 9.98 million, the highest level since September, when the desert kingdom pumped 10 million.

OPEC ministers kept their output target unchanged at 30 MMbpd on June 11 in Vienna. The group is scheduled to meet next on Nov. 27.

08/29/2014

 

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