OPEC pumped 31.28 million barrels per day in June, the fourth straight month since February that the group has added production.
According to Platts, OPEC’s production grew by 170,000 bpd in from May to June, thanks to production spikes in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
“This is the highest monthly level since August 2012, when the survey estimated output at 31.54 million b/d. At that point, output was on the way down. Now, output seems to be on the way up, and at a time when the market could be looking at a lot more oil from Iran,”senior correspondent for Platts Margaret McQuaile said.
The group reaffirmed its previous 30 million bpd production target in November despite push back from smaller members.
Suaid Arabia boosted its output in June enough to pump an average 10.35 million bpd as the summer heat prompts more people to turn on their air conditioners.
“A spike in air-conditioning demand has traditionally boosted the volume of crude burned directly in the kingdom’s power plants during the summer months. In addition, new refineries are pushing domestic use of crude oil higher,” Platts said.
Iraq also added nearly 330,000 bpd at its Gulf terminals following the commissioning of a new storage and pumping system at the the onshore Fao terminal.
Libya’s output fell by 20,000 bpd to 410,000 bpd as outages and security issues continue to plague the country’s energy assets.
Platts said Libya’s state owned national oil company is “optimistic it can raise output in the near term following the lifting of force majeure at the major Ras Lanuf export facility and a tentative agreement with tribal leaders in western Libya to reopen the pipeline linking the major fields of Sharara and Elephant (El Feel) to ports on the country’s western Mediterranean coast.”
Although OPEC reaffirmed its 30 million bpd target at its last meeting in June the group has not way to enforce the target.
OPEC is set to meet again on December 4 in Vienna.