The average of third party estimates that Energy Aspects collects pegs October OPEC-12 output at 31.17 mb/d, higher y/y by 1.36 mb/d and largely unchanged from September output. The largest m/m increases were Angola (0.06 mb/d) and Iraq (0.04 mb/d), while the largest declines came from Nigeria (0.05 mb/d) and UAE (0.04 mb/d). Output from Angola in October was more representative of the level seen through 2012, following two months of volatility due to an incident at the Girassol field in July which caused a spike and subsequent trough in August and September numbers. Nigerian volumes fell for the third straight month, with the cumulative loss over the three months at 0.25 mb/d. At 1.99 mb/d, Nigerian production fell below 2 mb/d for the first time since early 2010. Severe flooding accounted for the bulk of the loss, but oil theft has also been on the rise. These issues have resulted in most of the oil majors operating in Nigeria declaring force majeure (FM) in recent weeks. Shell has yet to lift its FM on Bonny Light and Forcados (declared on Oct 16) and ENI also recently declared FM on its Brass River exports. Shell and Exxon have shut pipelines at Imo River and Akwa Ibom respectively. By our estimates, the current force majeures account for 0.5 mb/d of exports and we expect more delays to Nigerian exports through to year end.
Meanwhile, Iranian oil production totaled 2.69 mb/d, as output fell for its 13th consecutive month, although anecdotal data suggests that exports to Asia are picking up. We believe that Iran is managing to not only sell more volumes to its Asian counterparts, but is also able to sell to countries like Turkey. Saudi production was steady, at 9.79 mb/d, and with the seasonal peaks in domestic demand now behind us, we expect Saudi oil exports to have climbed higher. Iraq's production continued to increase m/m as volumes reached 3.22 mb/d, buoyed by growing output from its southern fields and a larger contribution from Kurdistan. We maintain our forecast of Iraqi production climbing towards 3.4 mb/d by year end, although Exxon Mobil's decision to pull out may have some ramifications on the country's ability to reach its long term goals on schedule.