Ag. Business Editor –
According to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey, Libya’s continued dramatic recovery from civil strife pushed OPEC’s July output to yet another 2017 high, with the bloc producing 32.82 million b/d.
Libya, exempted from OPEC production cuts that began January 1, averaged 990,000 b/d in July, up 180,000 b/d from June. Fellow exempt member Nigeria averaged 1.81 million b/d, a 30,000 b/d increase on the month, according to the survey.
The two exempt countries, along with increased output from Saudi Arabia have sent OPEC’s collective output about 920,000 b/d above its nominal ceiling of around 31.9 million b/d, when new member Equatorial Guinea is added in and suspended member Indonesia is subtracted. Saudi Arabia produced 10.05 million b/d in July, according to the survey.
The combined output of Libya and Nigeria in July was 590,000 b/d above October levels, the month on which OPEC based its production cuts and quotas.
Nigerian output has continued its upward trend despite the ongoing force majeure on exports of key crude grade Bonny Light due to pipeline issues. Output of another key Nigerian crude, Forcados, continued to ramp up last month, and tanker tracking data also showed a steady rise in exports month-on-month.
Sabotage attacks on the key pipelines in Niger Delta in July, however, showed that Nigeria’s forward prospects continue to be riddled with uncertainty because of political tensions.
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