Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

OPEC production climbed to a new all-time high in October as the group continues to negotiate a production cut deal.

According to data collected by S&P Global Platts, OPEC production rose to a record 33.54 million barrels per day thanks to output boosts in Libya and Nigeria.

October’s production level marked a 300,000 barrel per day (bpd) gain from September and was the fifth straight month that the group’s production has increased.

The gains could further complicate OPEC’s proposed plans to trim production down to between 32.5 million to 33 million bpd.

The group has yet to agree on the details of the proposed production plan.

OPEC Secretary General HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo told Reuters in October that a production cap would likely be in place for six months and then reviewed.

“With OPEC having self-imposed a November 30 deadline to finalize the freeze, the pressure will be on to deliver a deal that the market views as credible. Progress towards that goal has been slow, and a fifth straight month of record high production won’t help,” S&P Global Platts senior writer Herman Wang said.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia saw its output decline to 10.53 million bpd in October.

Saudi Arabia has consistently been pumping over 10 million bpd since oil prices began falling late 2014.

Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, saw output climb to 4.56 million bpd in October thanks to increased exports.

Iraqi oil officials have said that they will continue to hold production at current levels whether or not a production freeze agreement is signed, S&P Global Platts said.

Iranian production inched up to 3.67 million bpd in October as increased demand from Asia helped boost exports to a post-sanctions high, according to the Platts survey.

Iran has said that it will not consider production cuts until it’s pumping at least 4 million bpd.

However, analysts told S&P Global Platts that Iran may be unable to raise production any further without a significant investment boost.

Nigeria saw production jump back up to 1.68 million bpd in October thanks to resumed loading of Qua Iboe and Forcados crude in September.

Some Nigerien exports had been taken offline earlier this year after waves of militant attacks against oil and gas infrastructure.

Exports of all Nigeria key export grades resumed as of last month, S&P Global Platts said.

“But the oil-rich Niger Delta remains unstable and sensitive, with chances of more militant attacks high, which means production is still at risk,” S&P Global Platts said.

S&P Global Platts expects Forcados production to be impacted in November after militants bombed the Trans-Forcados pipeline earlier this month.

Libyan production climbed to an average 530,000 bpd in October thanks to exports resuming at some of the country’s eastern ports.

Chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanalla told S&P Global Platts last week that Libyan oil production is currently averaging 585,000 bpd.

Sanalla added that the Es Sider terminal was ready to restart loadings “within days,” nearly two years after it was shutdown by militant attacks.

Angola’s production fell to 1.47 million bpd in October as the Dalia field was shutdown for maintenance for the full month.

The field produces between 200,000 and 250,000 bpd and is expected to come back online in November.

OPEC’s ministers will meet on November 30 in Vienna.


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