Global oil supply disruptions fall to lowest level since January 2012


    Trend: Unplanned global oil supply disruptions fell to 1.6 million barrels per day (b/d) in September, the lowest level since January 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    Over the past six months, unplanned oil supply disruptions have fallen by more than 1 million b/d, as outages in Libya, Nigeria, and Iraq abated, said the report.

    “The duration of any supply outage mainly depends on the cause of the disruption. When an outage, or shut-in, is related to weather, natural disaster, labor strikes, technical failures, or accidents, the shut-ins generally end within weeks, such as the recent outages in Canada caused by wildfires and those in the United States caused by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Disruptions tied to political disputes or conflicts—such as in Libya and Nigeria—often last for years,” said EIA.

    Analysts pointed out that more recently, Libya has had some success in reducing unplanned outages, particularly since the beginning of this year.

    “Crude oil production restarted at a number of oil fields in the country, including the country’s largest, the 270,000 b/d Sharara field, with production rising to more than 1 million b/d in July and unplanned outages averaging 295,000 b/d, the lowest since May 2013,” said the EIA analysts.

    In Nigeria, disruptions fell from an average of 370,000 b/d in April to 200,000 b/d in September, in part as a result of the Trans Forcados crude oil export pipeline—one of Nigeria’s main crude oil streams—resuming production, according to the report.

    “In Iraq, a pipeline explosion in the Kirkuk area and a loss of production at the Rumaila field led to an increase in disruptions in spring 2017. Since then, disruptions fell to 50,000 b/d in September,” said EIA.

    By comparison, recent outages in non-OPEC member countries have been attributable to weather events, according to the report.

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