EghtesadOnline: Iran's crude oil output last month almost remained unchanged from July, data by OPEC showed on Tuesday, as production cuts by most members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries outweighed additional supplies, particularly those of Nigeria.
The No. 3 OPEC producer pumped 3.82 million barrels per day in August, down 2,300 bpd compared to the previous month, OPEC said in its latest monthly report, citing secondary sources.
That is above the 3.8 million-bpd level Iran has pledged to produce by the end of March 2018, when a pact between OPEC and non-OPEC countries on removing 1.8 million bpd from the market expires. But data show that in the first eight months of the year Iran's production averaged 3.79 million barrels daily.
The biggest rise in production came from Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer and largest economy, by 138,300 barrels a day last month, while Libya, another African nation, made the largest contribution to cuts, according to Financial Tribune.
Libya dialed down production by 112,000 barrels in August, followed by Gabon (32,000 bpd), Venezuela (31,900 bpd) and Iraq (23,100 bpd), secondary sources data showed. Saudi Arabia, the group's de facto leader, cut down output by 10,300 bpd.
According to secondary sources, total OPEC production averaged 32.76 million barrels per day in August, a decrease of 79,000 over the previous month.
Iran's own data point to larger cuts. Tehran told OPEC it reduced crude oil production by 55,000 bpd to 3.84 million barrels in August. The kingdom also said its August output fell to 9.95 million bpd from 10.01 million bpd in the previous month.
OPEC uses two sets of figures to monitor its output—figures provided by each country, and secondary sources which include industry media.
It also forecast oil demand in the Middle East to rise over 2016 levels, as economic momentum gains pace. Demand in Saudi Arabia is expected to fluctuate during the reminder of the year while Iran, Iraq, the UAE and Kuwait are projected to contribute positively to oil demand growth in the region.
--- Oil Price
Iran Heavy, the country's main export grade and one of the 14 crudes of OPEC Reference Basket, traded at $48.70 per barrel last month, an increase of 5.8% from July. However, the 2017 average continued to remain below the $50-a-barrel mark last month at $49.27 a barrel.
The OPEC basket rose $2.67 month-on-month to settle at $49.60 a barrel on average in August, up 5.7%. Compared with the previous year, the ORB value was 30.9% higher or $11.74, at $49.73 per barrel.
Global crude oil prices improved, as OPEC and non-OPEC countries continued to conform to voluntary output adjustments and US stocks declined further, OPEC said.
The report also said Iran and Saudi Arabia are expected to lead the way in new production capacity for natural gas liquids, including gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and kerosene.