Unplanned oil production outages from non-OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) producers in August fell to their lowest level since 2011, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Among non-OPEC countries, unplanned oil production outages fell to 64,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August -- the lowest level since the EIA began tracking global production outages in 2011, the statement said.
The EIA said that unplanned production outages in a country are calculated as the difference between the supply level that could be available within one year in the country and its estimated production.
When a supply outage is related to weather, natural disasters, labor strikes, technical failures, or accidents, the disruption generally ends within weeks, the EIA said, which is often the case for non-OPEC countries.
However, the administration said that disruptions tied to political disputes or conflicts, such as in Sudan and South Sudan, often last for years.
"Unplanned outages in major non-OPEC oil producers such as the U.S., Russia, and Canada have abated, leaving Sudan and South Sudan as the only remaining non-OPEC producers with unplanned outages in August," the statement read.
"South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in July 2011, but it remained dependent on Sudan to export its oil through Sudan's pipelines. In 2012, South Sudan shut in its oil production, mainly because of a dispute with Sudan over oil transportation fees via the pipelines," it explained in the statement.
It continued that "the countries resolved the dispute, and South Sudan restarted oil production in 2013, but armed conflict persists in both countries as unresolved issues on domestic and interstate relations linger. South Sudan has revived some of its production in 2019, lowering its total disrupted volumes."
In the U.S., crude oil production was disrupted this year because of unplanned maintenance and hurricanes, the EIA said.
Unplanned disruptions in the U.S. peaked in July at nearly 400,000 bpd when Hurricane Barry caused evacuation of platforms and oil rigs in the U.S.' Gulf of Mexico. Yet, Hurricane Dorian, which did not pass across the Gulf of Mexico, did not affect the U.S.' crude oil production, it added.
Within OPEC, drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure on Sept. 14 also caused an outage in the output of the cartel's largest producer. The kingdom saw its oil production level decline by 5.7 million bpd, but this was quickly restored within weeks.
By Ovunc Kutlu