OPEC Output at New High

OPEC Output at New HighOPEC Output at New High

OPEC's output reached the highest monthly level in recent history in July, as Saudi Arabia and other key members show no sign of wavering in their focus on defending market share instead of prices.

A Reuters survey also found on Friday that the latest boost from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries adds to excess supply without the significant rise in demand it hopes will happen in the second half of the year and in 2016, Arabian Business reported.

OPEC's supply has risen in July to 32.01 million barrels per day from a revised 31.87 million bpd in June, according to the survey.

The group has upped production by more than 1.7 million bpd since it decided in November 2014 to defend market share against rising output from rival producers. This month's deal between world powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear work could further add to supplies in 2016.

Oil prices have dropped more than 15% this month and halved in the past year. Some analysts say there are signs OPEC's efforts to discourage growth in more expensive-to-develop rival supply sources are bearing fruit.

"We believe that oil prices should stabilize in the near future because we are confident that OPEC's strategy will pay off in the sense that non-OPEC production will slow," said Eugen Weinberg of Commerzbank.

The biggest increase in July has come from Iraq, one of the main drivers of the rise in OPEC output this year.

Iran, eager to reclaim its traditional spot as OPEC's second-largest producer when sanctions are lifted, increased supply slightly in July.