Industry at a glance
In spite of an OPEC agreement to cut production 4% from its peak output, the market remained skeptical that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies were willing to comply. In late October, Iraq joined the list of countries seeking an exemption from production caps. Nigeria lowered prices for its benchmark grades by approximately $1/bbl, in an attempt to capture additional market share. OPEC data indicate that even a maximum reduction would barely dent record stockpiles next year. Although President Putin has stated that Russia is ready to join OPEC in limiting production, the country set another post-Soviet-era record of 11.11 MMbopd in September. Regardless, global commodity prices remained resilient around $50/bbl. The U.S. rig count continued its ascent, averaging 543 units in October, 7% higher than the previous month. The international count gained 19 units, to average 1,089 in September.