Oil prices down, OPEC production at 10-month high

Amid lingering fears the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran could complicate the global oil market, OPEC nations reported a strong August in the latest S&P Global Platts survey.

A general view of the South Pars quarter one natural gas platform in the Persian Gulf waters near the southern port of Asalouyeh, Iran, in 2011. OPEC production was up in August, according to a new S&P Global Platts survey. File Photo Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo
A general view of the South Pars quarter one natural gas platform in the Persian Gulf waters near the southern port of Asalouyeh, Iran, in 2011. OPEC production was up in August, according to a new S&P Global Platts survey. File Photo Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

Excluding newest member Republic of Congo, oil production among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a 10-month high in August, according to the survey. Including Congo, OPEC member states produced 32.89 million barrels a day last month.

In late June, OPEC and other oil-producing nations agreed to increase production by 1 million barrels a day. At the time, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he hoped OPEC would “increase output substantially.”

Trump’s planned reimposition of sanctions on Iran, expected in November, has analysts closely watching for any fallout on the global market. According to an estimate from Platts Analytics, there will be 1.4 million fewer barrels a day of Iranian oil on the market by November. Iranian oil production stood at 3.6 million barrels a day in August, its lowest output in more than two years.

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In a weekly update, the American Petroleum Institute shared data indicating the U.S. supply of gasoline was up by 1 million barrels, though the country’s crude supply dropped by 1.2 million barrels, according to a MarketWatch report.

By 11:23 a.m. Thursday, the price of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of crude oil stood at $67.78, down 0.98 percent. The global benchmark, Brent crude oil, was at $76.67, down 0.78 percent.

BySam Howard