Platts – Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) totaled 30.01 million barrels per day (b/d) in November, down 290,000 b/d from October, and down for a second consecutive month as Libyan production went into reverse after several months of steady gains, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.
The November level compared to October output of 30.3 million barrels per day and is within a few hundred thousand barrels of the 30-million-b/d ceiling that OPEC, at its recent end-November meeting, decided to maintain despite multiple projections that such production could create a significant supply overhang in the market.
Libyan production had climbed to an average 860,000 b/d in October, almost double the July level. But a new security-related shut-in at the Sharara field in early November resulted in a month-on-month drop of 210,000 b/d.
“This is the great irony of the OPEC decision to leave its production ceiling unchanged,” said John Kingston, Platts global director of news. “The status of Libya remains uncertain, with enormous swings of output that are measured in the hundreds of thousands of barrels per day. So an OPEC decision to stand pat could actually play out with unintended cuts – or production increases – from a still unstable Libyan situation.”