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OPEC Sept oil output rises on Nigerian rebound, OPEC+ boost

OPEC oil output rose in September to its highest since April 2020, a Reuters survey found, as Nigerian output recovered from involuntary losses and the group’s top producers further eased supply curbs under a pact with its allies.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 27.31 million barrels per day (bpd), the survey found, up 420,000 bpd from August’s revised estimate. Output has risen every month since June 2020, apart from in February.

OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, are easing output cuts made in April 2020 as demand recovers, although due to a lack of capacity in some members OPEC+ is not delivering the full boost promised. This has helped support oil prices LCOc1, which are trading near $80 a barrel and close to a 3-year high.

The OPEC+ agreement allows for a 400,000 bpd production increase in September from all members, of which 253,000 bpd is shared by the 10 OPEC members covered by the deal, OPEC figures seen by Reuters show.

While the 10 OPEC members raised output by more than this in September, they are still pumping less than called for under the latest deal. OPEC compliance with pledged cuts was 114%, the survey found, versus 115% in August.

OPEC+ meets on Monday to review its policy and is expected to re-confirm plans for the monthly increases.

The biggest rise in September was in Nigeria, where output rose by 170,000 bpd according to the survey and even more according to some participants.

“We’re seeing over 200,000 bpd higher after Forcados and other problems in August,” said a firm that tracks OPEC supply.

The Forcados terminal export outlet was under force majeure in August, limiting supply. Even so, Nigeria is pumping almost 100,000 bpd less than its OPEC target as under-investment restrains output.

The second-largest increase came from top exporter Saudi Arabia, which further raised supply as part of the September OPEC+ boost. Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria made smaller increases.

Output declined or did not increase in Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the survey found, owing to a lack of production capacity to add more supply.

Iran, which has managed to raise exports since the fourth quarter despite U.S. sanctions, has posted slightly higher output this month, the survey found.

The country is exempt from OPEC supply curbs due to the sanctions, although a larger export recovery depends on progress in talks to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Those talks are currently stalled.

Among the other two producers exempt from curbs, Libyan and Venezuelan output also slightly increased.

The Reuters survey aims to track supply to the market and is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Refinitiv Eikon flows data, information from tanker trackers such as Petro-Logistics and Kpler, and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Alex Lawler; Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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