Unplanned disruptions in the global oil supply fell to 1.6 million barrels per day in September, the lowest since January 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Over the past six months, the disruptions have decreased more than 1 million barrels per day as supply outages came to an end in Libya, Nigeria and Iraq. In Canada, its outages related to wildfires abated in August, after rising to 425,000 barrels per day in April.
Oil supply disruptions caused by weather, including the recent hurricanes impacting the United States, can last weeks, but disruptions related to political issues or conflicts can last years, such as in Libya and Nigeria.
“In Libya, rival armed factions have blockaded pipelines and export terminals intermittently since the fall of the Gadhafi regime in 2011,” according to the EIA. This year, the country reduced its unplanned disruptions to 295,000 barrels per day, the lowest since May 2013.
In Nigeria, disruptions declined to 200,000 barrels per day in September after the Trans Forcados crude oil export pipeline resumed production following a 16-month outage related to an attack by Niger Delta rebels on the main export pipeline. In Iraq, disruptions fell to 50,000 barrels per day in September. Over spring, disruptions in the country rose after a pipeline exploded in the Kirkuk area and a production loss at the Rumaila field.
In the United States, Hurricane Harvey caused a 186,000 barrel per day disruption in August. The supply outage declined to 53,000 barrels per day in September, according to the EIA. “Hurricanes Irma and Maria did not affect U.S. crude oil production.”