PARIS: Crude oil production by OPEC members increased slightly in July, including Saudi Arabia, which had championed efforts by the oil cartel and allies to extend an output freeze.
Output from the 14 cartel members hit 32.87 million barrels per day (mbd) in July according to secondary sources, OPEC said in its monthly report on the oil market, up from 32.69 mbd in June.
“Crude oil output increased mostly in Libya, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia,” said the report. OPEC and a number of other producers including Russia agreed in May to extend production cuts, originally agreed last year, into 2018 to ease a global supply glut and support the price of crude. But oil prices haven’t been able to push up durably from around $50 a barrel as some exporters have produced more oil than agreed under the November deal, raising doubts about OPEC’s ability to enforce it.
While both Libya and Nigeria were exempted from the production cuts, Saudi Arabia was the motor behind the effort in May to extend the limits and is OPEC’s largest producer by far. Its output increased to 10.067 mbd in July from 10.035 mbd in June, according to secondary sources, which would put it just above its agreed output ceiling.
Saudi Arabia did not supply production figures directly to OPEC. Technical experts from OPEC and its allies met in Abu Dhabi this week and the cartel said after the talks that they “remain steadfast in their commitment to fulfil” the November deal. Decisions at the meeting, attended by Russia and Saudi Arabia, will “help facilitate full conformity” with production cuts, it said.
Last month, OPEC said there was “room for improvement” in implementing the deal and called on countries that signed the deal to “promptly reach full conformity”.
OPEC increased slightly its forecast for growth in global oil demand to an increase of 1.37 mbd this year, with overall demand at 96.49 mbd. It also rose its forecast for demand growth in 2018 to 1.28 mbd, with demand hitting 97.77 mbd.