OPEC Member Countries
* Iraq output jumps to 4.4 mil b/d on Kirkuk exports
* Saudi production falls 110,000 b/d
* Recovery in Nigeria and Libya adds to OPEC share
OPEC crude output rose again in September to a record high of 33.24 million b/d, an S&P Global Platts survey showed October 6. The figure is 110,000 b/d higher than August and marks the fourth consecutive month of growth, as output rises in Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Iran more than offset declines from Saudi Arabia, Angola, Qatar and Venezuela.
Iran, Libya and Nigeria are reportedly exempt from the tentative production freeze announced by OPEC in the week ended September 30, which will see the group keep output between 32.5 million and 33 million b/d.
Iraq, meanwhile, has already voiced its displeasure at various secondary sources, including Platts, which it says are underestimating the country's output, potentially putting it at a disadvantage when the individual country quotas are set.
Final details of the freeze -- including which sources are used to verify compliance -- are to be decided by OPEC's next formal meeting, November 30 in Vienna.
The Platts estimates are obtained by surveying OPEC and oil industry officials, traders and analysts, as well as reviewing proprietary shipping data. Iraq production rose to 4.4 million b/d, according to the Platts survey, with exports of Kirkuk crude resuming after an agreement between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to transport it to the port of Ceyhan.
Nigeria, Libya recovery
Libya saw its production rise to an average of 340,000 b/d in September, as the state-owned National Oil Company lifted force majeure on the Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina terminals in mid-September, paving the way for a rise in exports and output.
NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla told Platts on the sidelines of the OPEC talks in Algiers Libyan oil production had reached 485,000 b/d by late-September, as exports from Ras Lanuf continue to rise and the Harouge and Agoco fields ramp up production.
In Nigeria, production rebounded somewhat to 1.49 million b/d in September, after the force majeure on Bonny Light was lifted, and production of its two main export grades Qua Iboe and Forcados was said to have gradually picked up, with exports resuming in early-October.
The government has reached a tenuous ceasefire with rebel militants that have attacked oil facilities in the Niger Delta, although the Bonny export pipeline was bombed mid-month, affecting loadings of Bonny Light.
Iran, which had seen its output plateau at 3.63 million b/d for the previous three months, was able to raise production slightly in September to 3.65 million b/d, as exports ticked higher.
Saudi output down
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer, saw a decline in September to 10.55 million b/d, according to the survey, after setting its all-time survey high of 10.66 million b/d in August.
Reduced crude consumption for air conditioning, as peak summer temperatures moderated during the month, along with lower refinery runs offset higher exports, the survey found.
Angola production declined to 1.73 million b/d as the Plutonio field went offline for maintenance for about 10 days.
The country is expected to see further declines in October, with loadings of Dalia, which normally range between 200,000-230,000 b/d, set to fall to zero next month due to field maintenance.
Qatar saw a decline to 640,000 b/d, with traders saying partial shutdowns at the Al Shaheen facilities that began September 7 reduced oil cargoes by 5%, with some loading dates deferred. The partial shutdowns are expected to continue through the end of October.
Venezuela continued its decline in production to 2.1 million b/d in September, as the country struggles with its economic crisis.