The OPEC and its group raised their total seaborne exports in September to 22.84 million barrels per day (bpd) from 22.11 million bpd in August, but the alliance stayed within its agreed ceiling, IHS Markit data and analysis showed on Thursday.
OPEC’s crude oil shipments rose last month to 18.2 million bpd, up from 17.53 million bpd exported on tankers in August, according to data from IHS Markit Commodities at Sea.
Saudi Arabia’s shipments have recovered from the lows in June, when they were below 5 million bpd, and returned to above 6.25 million bpd in September, close to the levels last observed in March 2020, before the Saudis flooded the world with oil in April in the brief price war with Russia, wrote Fotios Katsoulas, Liquid Bulk Principal Analyst, Maritime & Trade at IHS Markit, and Raj Rajendran, Principal Journalist, OPIS.
Year to date, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports were basically flat year over year, at an average of 6.25 million bpd, according to IHS Markit data. The key Saudi partner in the OPEC+ alliance, Russia, saw its exports edge up to 3.59 million bpd in September from 3.52 million bpd in August, amid a drop in domestic demand.
The UAE busted its quota in August and September, with crude oil shipments also rising, according to IHS Markit Commodities at Sea data. The UAE shipped 2.54 million bpd and 2.61 million bpd in August and September, respectively—a lot more than around 2.1 million bpd exported in May and June.
Venezuela and Libya, exempted from the OPEC+ agreement, saw their shipments increase in September compared to August, and Libya is set to continue to boost production and crude oil exports if the truce there holds.
“At current forecast levels of 300,000-400,000 b/d, it is not likely to cause too much concern to OPEC+, whose focus is on compliance and compensation,” IHS Markit said, commenting on Libya’s ability to ramp up production.