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OPEC production at six-month low, but US shale output rises

OPEC’s recent monthly oil market report states that its total production fell by 133,500 bpd (barrels per day) in November to 32,448 million bpd, marking a six-month low for the cartel.

OPEC secondary sources report that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Angola, and Venezuela experienced the greatest falls in production, while Nigeria upped its production by 95,800 bpd in November to 1,790 million bpd.

While the news bodes well for OPEC’s attempts to clear the global supply glut that has haunted the markets, OPEC has also raised its forecast for non-OPEC oil production following greater than expected growth this year. The report states:

“Non-OPEC oil supply growth 2017 performed well above initial market expectations to now stand at 0.81 mb/d. Higher-than-expected supply growth in the US, Canada and Kazakhstan have been the key contributors to the upward revisions, particularly US tight oil. As a result, US oil output is now expected to grow at 0.61 mb/d this year.”

US tight oil is highlighted as showing particularly strong growth. OPEC expect this momentum to continue into next year as US shale players like ExxonMobil, which also makes industrial lubricants like Mobil DTE Heavy Medium, invest more in US tight oil and improve their well efficiencies. Sanctioned oil sands projects in Canada are also expected to contribute to non-OPEC growth as they up their production next year.

Despite this, OPEC said it expects that the efforts of its members and its non-members partners will lead to a balanced market by late 2018.

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