CAIRO and LONDON (Bloomberg) -- OPEC crude production rose in August to the highest level this year as a recovery in Libyan output helped to offset a cut in Iranian exports due to U.S. sanctions.
The group’s 15 members, which now include the Republic of Congo, collectively produced 32.74 MMbpd last month, an increase of 420,000 bpd from July, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.
OPEC and its allies agreed in June to increase combined output by 1 MMbpd to meet consumer demand and prevent a sharp rise in prices. That followed U.S. President Donald Trump urging the group to act to prevent further rises.
Libya was the biggest contributor to the rise in output across the group, pumping 970,000 bpd last month compared to 660,000 bpd in July. The country’s biggest oil field, Sharara, has restarted following a kidnapping, a person familiar with the situation said on Sunday. Even though Libya’s recovery boosts OPEC’s combined oil output, the country remains an unreliable supplier as civil strife continues to disrupt its petroleum industry.
The second-largest production increase came from Iraq and the United Arab Emirates: each raised daily oil output by 80,000 bbl last month.
Iran suffered the biggest output drop across the group, of 240,000 bpd, pushing its production down to 3.5 MMbpd. Even though sanctions don’t officially take effect until November, Iran is already seeing customers flee as the U.S. imposes penalties on buyers after Trump quit a 2015 nuclear accord with the country.