The average of third party estimates that Energy Aspects collects pegs November OPEC-12 output at 31.07 mb/d, higher y/y by 0.43 mb/d but lower for the 4th consecutive month, by 0.13 mb/d. Although OPEC production remains higher compared the Group's desired target of 30 mb/d (which was renewed at the latest OPEC meeting), output is lower by 0.56 mb/d compared to the highs seen in April. Nigeria once again led the m/m declines, with output in November falling below 2 mb/d, lower by 0.07 mb/d. With the majors having lifted the bulk of their force majeures recently, we expect Nigerian exports to recover in January. Nonetheless, although the flooding issues are now behind us, the underlying issue of theft and pipeline sabotage is likely to remain a significant challenge.
Meanwhile, Libyan oil production fell by 0.05 mb/d m/m to 1.45 mb/d, as problems at the Az Zawiya refinery among others impacted upstream operations. With the return of Libyan production resulting in routine and non-routine maintenance being deferred, we expect Libyan production to remain variable around 1.4-1.5 mb/d. Angolan production, which was broadly flat m/m at 1.74 mb/d, is expected to improve slightly on the back of the start-up of BP's PSVM project (0.15 mb/d) by mid-December. Meanwhile, Iranian oil production remained subdued, despite curbing a trend of m/m declines as we anticipated last month. Output averaged 2.69 mb/d, as the country's exports to Asia picked up whilst production from Iraq was flat m/m at 3.20 mb/d, although government data communicated to Platts suggests that output fell by 0.2 mb/d m/m due to declining output from southern fields. Saudi production was broadly flat m/m and y/y at 9.77 mb/d, although here too, direct communique to the OPEC Secretariat shows a 0.2 mb/d m/m decline. With Asian demand, in particular from China, picking up we suspect that Saudi Arabian production could swing up in the coming months.