OPEC oil data – July 2015

Published at 09:07 12 Aug 2015 by . Last edited 11:17 22 Aug 2019.

According to the third party estimates collected by Energy Aspects, OPEC production was flat m/m at 31.76 mb/d in July, a three-year high. In contrast, Energy Aspects estimates show a 0.11 mb/d decline to 31.63 mb/d. The divergence is due to Saudi production. Third party estimates show a 40 thousand b/d m/m increase to 10.48 mb/d in July, but direct communication from the Kingdom reports output falling m/m by 0.2 mb/d to 10.36 mb/d. The decline is consistent with rig counts starting to fall in May and follows large crude inventory builds in May due to lower exports, which would have left the Kingdom keen to run stocks down. Saudi production may receive a small boost in August given high summer temperatures supporting elevated levels of direct crude burn, but we expect it to trend towards 10.2-10.3 mb/d by late Q3 15. According to third parties, the only other source of growth was Iran, which rose m/m by 20 thousand b/d, but this is nothing beyond monthly noise as sanctions relief will not come in until early- to mid-2016, confirmed by recent statements from Iranian officials. Third party estimates point to a 30 thousand b/d fall in Iraqi output to 4.08 mb/d, distorted by a very high June estimate from Bloomberg (EA estimate: 20 thousand b/d gain to 4.07 mb/d). In fact, southern exports rose by m/m and Kurdish production held steady despite the export pipeline being disrupted by a bombing inside Turkey on 29 July. Flows were restored on 5 August and we do not expect similar attacks to become a regular feature. However, deep cuts in investment mean Iraqi production is probably close to its highs (with rigs lower y/y by 52 at 44 in July) and it may actually fall somewhat in the coming months as infrastructure is being run at full capacity and maintenance spending is under pressure. Meanwhile, Libyan production fell m/m by 30 thousand b/d to 0.39 mb/d, due to technical issues at Agoco-operated fields in the east and Kuwaiti output remained flat at 2.72 mb/d as the Neutral Zone remains offline.

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