OPEC crude output fell this month, led by declines in the group’s three-biggest producers.

Output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell by 233,000 barrels to 32.048 million a day this month, according to a Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Last month’s total was revised 35,000 barrels lower to 32.281 million a day because of changes to the Iraqi, Nigerian and Ecuadorean estimates.

Crude futures in London and New York market are down 24 per cent this quarter amid speculation that the global supply glut will grow as Chinese economic growth slows. OPEC agreed on June 5 to retain its collective output target of 30 million barrels a day, a level that it’s exceeded for 16 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent crude for November settlement rose 19 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $48.42 (U.S.) a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 1:30 p.m. in New York. The European grade is the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer saw the biggest decline, reducing output by 200,000 barrels a day to 10.3 million in September. Fuel consumption in the Arabian peninsula dropped from its summer peak, when high temperatures lead to increased use of air conditioners.

Iran’s Output

Iranian production fell by 100,000 barrels a day to 2.8 million in September, after rising last month to the highest level since July 2012, when sanctions were imposed on the Islamic republic to curb its nuclear program. Successful implementation of a July 14 deal between Iran and world powers would allow the nation to resume oil sales halted by the sanctions.

Iraqi production decreased 85,000 barrels a day to 4.214 million this month, according to the survey. OPEC’s second– biggest producer is still pumping near the highest level in monthly Bloomberg data going back to 1989. There have been lower deliveries to local refineries and power plants, while exports edged higher.

Libyan output slipped 5,000 barrels a day to 350,000 this month, the lowest level since February. The country’s current output is about a quarter of what it was before the 2011 rebellion that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule.

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Article Source: Globe and Mail