Nigeria saw its crude oil production increase slightly last month to about 1.25 million barrels per day, which is 360,000 bpd lower than the quota given to it by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The country told OPEC that its oil output rose by 8,000 bpd in September from about 1.24 million bpd in the previous month, according to the cartel’s latest report released on Wednesday.
OPEC uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries.
According to secondary sources, Nigeria’s production increased to 1.45 million bpd in September from about 1.30 million bpd in August, compared to its OPEC quota of 1.61 million bpd.
The 13-member group said its crude oil production averaged 27.33 million bpd in September, higher by 0.49 million bpd month-on-month.
“Crude oil output increased mainly in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq,” it said.
The Chief Commodities Economist at London-based Capital Economics, Caroline Bain, said in a note on Wednesday that even if OPEC raised quotas, there remained doubts about higher supply.
“OPEC moved closer to its collective target output last month. However, it is now clear that if the group were to answer calls to raise output, it would involve abandoning the current quota system and allowing a few producers with available capacity to produce more,” she said.
She noted that the group’s September output was 390,000 bpd below its total output target owing to significant underperformance in August.
She said, “The higher output in September was driven by a rebound in supply from Nigeria (although it is still below target) and a jump in production in Iraq (which is now above quota, again).
“There is considerable uncertainty about whether Nigeria can continue to raise output, but the September data do at least offer some hope that OPEC production can draw closer to its target.”
Bain noted that the recent rise in oil prices had led to political pressure on the group to raise its quotas.
“However, even if the group were to raise its production targets, it may be a largely symbolic gesture given that African producers in particular look likely to struggle to meaningfully raise output for some time yet,” she added.