The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ crude oil output fell to an eight month low in September, led by Iraq, where a pipeline disruption curtailed shipments, a Bloomberg News survey showed.
Production slipped 145,000 barrels, or 0.5 percent, to an average 29.055 million barrels a day, the lowest level since January, according to the survey.
Output by members with quotas, all except Iraq, dropped 95,000 barrels to 26.76 million, 1.92 million above their target.
Iraqi output dropped 50,000 barrels, or 2.1 percent, to 2.295 million this month, the biggest decrease in OPEC and the lowest level since October, 2008.
The Arabian Gulf nation was the group’s fourth largest producer in September. Production from Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, fell 40,000 barrels.
Peter Beutel, president of energy advisory firm Cameron Hanover, New Canaan, Connecticut, said: “Both the Iraqi and Saudi cuts are probably temporary and not a sign of an enduring trend."
He added: “Iraqi production has been erratic for years so we’re used to it. The Saudi numbers are of more interest, but are probably due to seasonal maintenance.”
Iraq’s crude oil exports through Turkey dropped by about 20 percent due to a technical fault on the Iraqi side of the border on Sept 24, said Imad Baqer, head of production for the state run North Oil Co. Shipments stopped completely on Sept 28 and resumed yesterday.
Saudi Arabia reduced production to 8.25 million barrels a day, the second biggest decline in the group and the lowest output since March. The kingdom exceeded its quota by 199,000 barrels a day.