Nigeria has again, underperformed its Organisation of Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil quota by 224,000 barrels per day, in September, as key crude grade Forcados spent the third of the month on force majeure, while damage to the Nembe Creek Trunk Line severely impaired exports of Bonny Light.
Despite these challenges, the country pumped 1.39 million b/d, up 30,000 b/d from August, the latest S&P Global Platts survey has indicated.
This is as OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) boosted crude oil output by 470,000 b/d in September, but still produced far below what it said it would as many members are still struggling to reach their quotas, the survey indicated.
OPEC’s 13 countries pumped 27.29 million b/d, up 320,000 b/d from August while Russia and eight other partners added 13.44 million b/d, up 150,000 b/d, the survey found.
Despite the increase, the 19 members with production quotas under the OPEC+ supply accord were a combined 570,000 b/d below their allocations for the month, bringing compliance to 111.5 per cent.
The shortfalls have contributed to what many analysts say is a tight market. Oil prices have surged in recent weeks, with Dated Brent hitting three-year highs and key customers of OPEC+ crude, such as the US, calling for more supplies to tame the rally.
OPEC+ members with ample spare production capacity, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq, did ramp up output in September. In fact, Russia and Iraq both overproduced their quotas, according to the survey, and have been among the alliance’s least compliant members.
Russia pumped 9.86 million b/d, above its target of 9.70 million b/d, while Iraq surged to 4.18 million b/d, exceeding its allocation of 4.11 million b/d, the survey found. At 9.66 million b/d, an increase of 90,000 b/d over August, Saudi Arabia was quota-compliant.
Non-OPEC Kazakhstan also saw a major rebound in its production, with the end of heavy maintenance at its Tengiz field pushing its output up 110,000 b/d to 1.41 million b/d in September, according to the survey.
But several other countries faced significant disruptions to their operations, many due to damaged infrastructure.
For a growing number of countries, including Nigeria, years of underinvestment exacerbated by the COVID-19 oil price crash have limited their ability to pump more, leading to questions over whether the OPEC+ alliance will be able to fully unwind its historic pandemic-prompted output cuts by the end of 2022, as planned.
Angola, which produced 1.15 million b/d, according to the survey, has not hit its allocation for months, with its mature fields in decline, though a few new projects have recently come online that could add some volumes in the coming months.