In the month of November, OPEC crude oil production has continued to show downward movement due to a new series of output disruptions took hold in Libya. On the other hand, lower volume production from other states has outplayed Iraq’s rise in production of 192,000 b/d. This data has been revealed by the producer groups on the early part of this week.
OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its output, said production from all 12 members fell to 29.633 million b/d in November from 29.827 million b/d in October, a drop of 194,000 b/d.
The estimates showed Libyan output falling to 371,000 b/d in November from 512,000 b/d in October. Nigerian production fell to 1.821 million b/d from 1.925 million b/d. Saudi Arabia scaled back output to 9.626 million b/d in November from 9.714 million b/d in October and 10.037 million b/d in September. Algeria, Kuwait and the UAE had smaller falls.
The production of oil has taken a swift rise though amidst the downfall in production within several other members of OPEC. Iraqi production climbed to 3.107 million b/d in November from 2.915 million b/d in October.
A table of output figures has been also published by OPEC and it has been submitted directly to the country members. These can differ markedly from the estimates from secondary sources. Iran, for example, told OPEC it had pumped an average 3.3 million b/d in November, some 600,000 b/d more than the secondary source figure of 2.716 million b/d.
Venezuela's direct submission of 2.854 million b/d was 490,000 b/d higher than the 2.364 million b/d derived from secondary sources. Libya's direct submission of 226,000 b/d was considerably below the secondary source estimate, as was Nigeria's -- 1.672 million b/d compared with 1.821 million b/d.
Saudi Arabia has stated OPEC that it pumped an average 9.746 million b/d, little changed from the 9.753 million b/d it submitted for October but 120,000 b/d higher than the secondary source estimate.
According to the estimations by the experts in OPEC, average demand for its crude next year, plus movements in and out of stocks, at 29.57 million b/d, unchanged from its previous monthly report. But it expected the call on OPEC to fall from 30.4 million b/d in the fourth quarter of this year to 29.16 million b/d in the first quarter of 2014.
In spite of the low demand project in the coming year, especially in 2014, OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna last week said they would maintain the current 30 million b/d overall output ceiling until their next meeting in June, in the interest of maintaining equilibrium in world oil markets.
According to the monthly report, "Member countries re-confirmed their readiness to promptly respond to unforeseen developments that could have an adverse impact on an orderly and balanced oil market."
It has been also speculated by the experts that the potential development will alter OPEC’s view of the market balance include Libyan output recovering to around 1.4-1.5 million b/d and a full lifting of sanctions on Iran.
There is skepticism about a full recovery in Libyan output given the continuing unrest in the country. In case of Iran, analysts do not expect high rise in production and exports until at least the second half of next year.
The clock has yet to start ticking officially on last month's ground-breaking six-month agreement that, in return for concessions on the nuclear program, will give Iran some sanctions relief but keep core oil and banking sanctions in place while negotiators work toward a comprehensive agreement that would see sanctions lifted.