A Reuters survey has found that oil production output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in September 2023 rose on increases from Nigeria and Iran.
As per the survey’s findings, OPEC’s oil output demonstrated a consecutive increase for the second month in a row during September 2023, even in the face of ongoing production cuts by notable members including Saudi Arabia, Russia, and others within the broader OPEC+ alliance.
Specifically, the survey revealed that in September 2023, OPEC collectively pumped an impressive 27.73 million barrels per day (bpd), reflecting a noteworthy increase of 120,000 bpd compared to the production levels in August 2023. This shift comes after a notable rise in production in August, marking the first upturn since February.
Reuters reports that Nigeria played a pivotal role in this surge during September, although the country is actively addressing issues related to crude oil theft and insecurity prevalent in the oil-producing regions of the Niger Delta. Additionally, Iran contributed to this surge, despite facing U.S. sanctions, by ramping up its supply.
A part of the Reuters report stated:
“Nigeria managed a sizeable boost in exports in September without any major disruption to shipments, according to shipping data and sources in the survey, increasing output by 110,000 bpd. The country is targeting a further recovery by next year.
“The second-largest increase came from Iran, the survey found, which pushed output to 3.15 million bpd. This is the highest since 2018, the year Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran, according to Reuters surveys and separate figures from OPEC.
“Analysts have said the higher Iranian exports appear to be the result of Iran’s success in evading U.S. sanctions and Washington’s discretion in enforcing them as the two countries seek better relations.
“Output from the 10 OPEC members that are subject to OPEC+ supply cut agreements rose by 80,000 bpd, the survey found. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf members maintained strong compliance with agreed cutbacks and extra voluntary reductions.”
Note that from January to August 2023, Nigeria’s crude oil production has ranged between 1 million and 1.2 million barrels per day. Based on data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), the monthly crude oil production output (aside from condensate production) for the year so far has been:
January 2023 – 1,266,659 bpd
February 2023 – 1,292,240 bpd
March 2023 – 1,266,737 bpd
April 2023 – 1,004,392 bpd
May 2023 – 1,189,332 bpd
June 2023 – 1,260,928 bpd
July 2023 – 1,089,089 bpd
August 2023 – 1,181,133 bpd.
The low output has been mainly due to the crude oil theft crises currently bedevilling the sector, actively crippling the projected 1.69 million barrels per day benchmark highlighted in the 2023 budget. At the same time, global crude oil prices (Brent crude) have reached $97 per barrel as of last week.