In September, OPEC oil production increased for a second consecutive month, as reported in a Reuters survey. This rise was primarily driven by higher output from Nigeria and Iran, despite ongoing production cuts by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members to stabilize the market.
The survey indicated that OPEC’s oil production for the previous month stood at 27.73 million barrels per day (bpd), reflecting a 120,000 bpd increase compared to August. August had seen the first production rise since February.
Nigeria played a significant role in the September increase, managing to boost exports without major disruptions. The country raised its output by 110,000 bpd, with further recovery plans for the coming year.
Iran, despite facing US sanctions, also contributed to the production surge, reaching its highest output level since 2018. The increase in Iranian exports seems to result from evading sanctions and leniency in their enforcement by the US.
Among OPEC members subject to supply cut agreements with OPEC+, there was an 80,000 bpd increase in output. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries maintained compliance with agreed-upon cutbacks, with Saudi Arabia extending its voluntary 1 million bpd output reduction to support the market.
Iraq and the UAE slightly raised their output, while Angola experienced the largest decline in the group, with a 50,000 bpd drop in exports.
Despite these production increases, OPEC’s total output still falls short of the targeted amount by approximately 700,000 bpd, primarily due to capacity limitations in Nigeria and Angola.
The Reuters survey relies on various data sources, including shipping data, Refinitiv Eikon flows data, information from flow-tracking companies like Petro-Logistics and Kpler, and input from sources within oil companies, OPEC, and consulting firms, to monitor market supply.