We estimate that OPEC production rose m/m by 0.10 mb/d to 32.77 mb/d in September. Compliance with the OPEC/non-OPEC deal fell only marginally, to 105% from 107% in August.
Libyan output rose m/m by 60 thousand b/d to 0.92 mb/d, but remained below the recent high registered in July. An armed group lifted their blockade of various pipelines early in September, allowing the 0.30 mb/d Sharara and 0.12 mb/d El Feel field to restart. But Sharara was slow to ramp up, only reaching 0.20 mb/d by 20 September, potentially due to separate security issues at the field. Sharara was also briefly shut for two days by another protest in early October, although it appears to have recovered faster this time. Frequent disruptions will make it hard for Libyan production to rise above 1 mb/d. Meanwhile, Nigeria remains largely free of disruptions and we estimate output rose m/m by 20 thousand b/d to 1.95 mb/d in September. Exports reached a 19-month high despite a force majeure on Bonny Light declared in the second half of September, but lower November loading programmes point to upstream maintenance.
Iraq also raised production m/m, up by 20 thousand b/d to 4.47 mb/d (43% compliance), with higher exports from both Basra and via the Kurdish pipeline to Ceyhan. Flows have continued on the Kurdish pipeline since the referendum on 25 September, despite threats from the Turkish government to shut off exports. But supply risks will persist until meaningful talks occur between Erbil and Baghdad. Saudi Arabia also registered a small 20 thousand b/d gain to 9.97 mb/d (117% compliance) amid maintenance at the 0.4 mb/d Abqaiq field.
Iranian crude production was higher m/m by 10 thousand b/d to 3.81 mb/d, slightly above its quota for the first time, but planned maintenance and unplanned outages at various South Pars phases are reducing condensate production by 0.10-0.15 mb/d and will continue through at least November. This reduced OPEC NGLs output to below 7 mb/d for the first time since March. Finally, Venezuelan crude production was lower m/m by 20 thousand b/d at 1.85 mb/d (217% compliance) in September as declines have accelerated since July.
The average of third party estimates we collect puts output at 32.81 mb/d in September, up m/m by 0.11 mb/d, with compliance at 88%. The main difference is Venezuela, where third parties see output at 1.94 mb/d (134% compliance), after a m/m decline of just 10 thousand b/d.
OPEC production is likely to remain at similar levels or grow slightly in October, but should fall back somewhat in November due to upstream maintenance in the UAE and West Africa. Exports may rise even if output does not, however, due to refinery maintenance in the Middle East.