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OPEC production highest since 2020

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A survey by Reuters reports that total crude oil production among OPEC member nations in September was at its highest level since 2020 at 29.81 million barrels per day (bpd), with production increasing by 210,000 bpd on August’s figure rather than the 64,000 bpd that had been promised.

Nevertheless, the group as a whole continued to undershoot its total quota despite high oil prices continuing to be strong motivation for higher production. However, the shortfall did reduce from 1.4 million bpd to 1.32 million bpd in September.

Among the 10 OPEC member countries, the Middle Eastern countries tended to do well, with Kuwait, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia all hitting their targets. The latter of these hit 11 million bpd after increasing production by 50,000 bpd. Nigeria and Libya also contributed to the total production with increased activity, thanks in part to currently being exempt to production quotas. In Iraq—where multinational oil companies like TotalEnergies and BP, which make industrial fluids like grease and coolant under the Total and Castrol brands—production was relatively unchanged.

The tide may be changing for OPEC production, however. The group has previously signalled its preference for maintaining an oil price around the $90 mark. With Brent Crude having slipped below this in recent weeks despite the markets remaining relatively tight amid the background of the Nordstream 1 and 2 pipeline explosions and the ongoing war in Ukraine, OPEC may well choose to intervene to support crude oil prices by cutting production quotas once more.

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