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 September 8, 2015 - 3:49 PM EDT
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Platts Survey: OPEC Pumps 31.26 Million Barrels of Crude Oil Per Day in August

Monthly Output Down 140,000 b/d from July Saudi Arabia Scaled Back Supply by 50,000 b/d to 10.4 million b/d in August

LONDON, Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) totaled 31.26 million barrels per day (b/d) in August, down 140,000 b/d from the July level of 31.4 million b/d as several member countries, including Saudi Arabia, trimmed output, according to a just-released Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.

"This is the first time OPEC output has fallen since February, but it shouldn't be over-interpreted," Margaret McQuaile, senior correspondent for Platts, a leading global provider of energy and commodities information. "The August total still puts OPEC exceeding its official ceiling by 1.26 million b/d and Saudi oil is still flowing at record levels."

The August estimate marked the first monthly fall in OPEC output since February, although the total remained more than 1 million b/d above the group's official 30 million b/d ceiling.

Despite having rolled over the ceiling -- in place since the beginning of 2012 -- in June for a further six months, OPEC has no mechanism for enforcing it as there are no individual country quotas.  Furthermore, with Iran preparing to increase supply once international sanctions are removed, the battle for market share that initially appeared to be focused on non-OPEC producers is now also raging within OPEC itself.

Saudi Arabia, having pumped at record levels above 10 million b/d since March, scaled back supply by 50,000 b/d to 10.4 million b/d in August. The kingpin producer, which drove OPEC's November 2014 decision not to reduce output despite sliding oil prices, has given no indication that it is ready to abandon its market share strategy.

Smaller decreases came from Iraq, Libya, Angola and Qatar.

Libyan production remains at less than one quarter of its 1.6 million b/d capacity, with output slipping to just 360,000 b/d in August from 390,000 b/d in July because of ongoing technical problems at fields in eastern Libya and continued blockades of other key oil infrastructure across the country.

In Iraq, exports last month were slightly down on both July and June because of a slight fall in southern exports and the ongoing restrictions on supplies via Turkey because of Kurdistan's move to restart its own independent exports at the expense of the federal barrels it had been exporting on Baghdad's behalf.

Concerns about the Chinese economy have helped drive crude prices downward in recent weeks. North Sea Brent hit a six-year low of $42.23/barrel last week, but has since clawed its way back to around $50/b.

Earlier this week, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said OPEC's current policy had proved unsuccessful in marginalizing shale oil, a key driver in climbing non-OPEC production, and that member countries should now be willing to reduce supply in order to boost prices. Iran, he said, saw $70-$80/b as a favorable price range for crude and would pursue this target within OPEC.

There is, as yet, no date for the lifting of sanctions, which will be tied to verification of Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency is scheduled to deliver its final report in mid-December.

OPEC ministers are next scheduled to meet in Vienna on December 4.

For output numbers by country, click here. You may be prompted for a cost-free, one-time-only log-in registration. For the latest OPEC news features, visit this OPEC Features link and for an OPEC guide, access this link:  

Additional information on oil, energy and related information may be found on the Platts website at

Global, Americas, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607,

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets. A division of McGraw Hill Financial, Platts is based in London with more than 1,000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial  (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 30 countries. Additional information is available at


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Source: PR Newswire (September 8, 2015 - 3:49 PM EDT)

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