Despite raising its crude oil production in July by 500,000 barrels per day, the OPEC+ group was still well below its collective quota, pumping 2.75 million bpd below targeted output, an Argus survey found on Wednesday.
OPEC+ saw its combined crude oil production at 38.70 million bpd last month, with Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer and de facto leader, raising its supply to the market the most.
According to the survey and preliminary tanker-tracking from Argus, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil shipments jumped by more than 550,000 bpd in July compared to June, and stood at some 7.37 million bpd last month. However, not all the crude in the tracked high export levels came from a rise in the Kingdom’s oil production. Some volumes came from Saudi stockpiles, Argus noted. Between 60,000 bpd and 120,000 bpd of the jump in Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports likely came from stockpiles, analysts have told Argus.
OPEC is set to release data on its members’ production for July on Thursday, August 11.
Nigeria, the top African producer at OPEC, was a major laggard in production, again, despite vowing to start pumping to quota by the end of August. Nigeria’s July production, however, failed to increase amid a force majeure at the Bonny Light terminal, according to the Argus survey.
Elsewhere in the OPEC+ group, Russian oil production increased marginally, the Argus survey showed.
Libya, exempted from the OPEC+ deal, raised production and exports after lifting a force majeure in the middle of July.
The 500,000-bpd July increase of the collective OPEC+ oil production was lower than the 648,000-bpd rise the alliance had set for each of the months of July and August, after which it will have rolled back all the cuts from May 2020.
Last week, OPEC+ gave the go-ahead to raise the collective oil production target for September by 100,000 bpd as recommended by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC).
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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