OPEC Production Lowest Since 2011 After Saudi Attacks

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OPEC’s oil production tumbled the most in 16 years last month after an attack on Saudi Arabia’s energy facilities temporarily halved output in the world’s biggest crude exporter.

Supplies from the cartel’s 14 members plunged by 1.59 million barrels a day to 28.32 million a day, according to a Bloomberg survey of officials, ship-tracking data and estimates from consultants including Rystad Energy AS, JBC Energy GmbH and Energy Aspects Ltd. It’s the biggest monthly drop since labour strikes briefly paralyzed Venezuela’s oil industry in 2002.

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Saudi production tumbled by 1.47 million barrels a day to 8.36 million, the steepest monthly decline recorded by Bloomberg data, after the Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield were targeted by missiles and drones on Sept. 14. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strike, which the US government blamed on Iran. The Persian Gulf nation has denied involvement.

Saudi Aramco has made surprisingly swift progress in repairing the damaged infrastructure, and says it’s now fully attained pre-attack levels. Oil prices, having surged the most on record immediately after the attack, have relinquished the gains to trade close to $60 a barrel again in London.

The kingdom restored output to 9.9 million barrels a day as of Sept. 25 and is now pumping slightly more than that, according to Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive of Aramco’s trading unit.

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