OPEC output steady last month after group pledged symbolic cut
(Bloomberg) – OPEC’s crude production held steady last month after the group pledged a symbolic cutback to stabilize market sentiment.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased daily output by 30,000 barrels to 29.98 million barrels in October, according to a Bloomberg survey.
It had agreed to make a token reduction of 100,000 barrels a day -- rescinding an increase made the previous month. With so many members already lagging behind their targets few needed to do any actual cutting, and overall output was well below the group’s target even after the slight rise.
The announced reduction for October nonetheless heralded more vigorous action from the group. Saudi Arabia and its partners plan a much deeper cut of 2 million barrels in a day this month, a move that sparked fierce criticism from US President Joe Biden.
White House officials accused Riyadh of endangering the world economy and giving succor to fellow producer Russia in its war on Ukraine by pushing up crude prices. The kingdom has countered that the move was necessary to offset a darkening economic outlook.
In October, Saudi output edged marginally lower to 11 million barrels a day, the survey showed. Kuwait also dialed back slightly, as did most African nations like Angola, Congo and Equatorial Guinea.
The reductions were countered by increases in Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, resulting in the modest monthly increase for the group as a whole.
With most members pumping considerably below their quotas as a result of under-investment and disruptions, total OPEC supply is roughly 1 million barrels a day below target.
The full 23-nation alliance between OPEC and non-members, known as OPEC+, will meet again to review production policy on Dec. 4.
Bloomberg’s survey is based on ship-tracking data, information from officials and estimates from consultants including Kpler Ltd., Rystad Energy and Rapidan Energy Group.
--With assistance from John Deane, Prejula Prem and Anthony Di Paola.