When it comes to global oil and gas production, actions speak louder than words—just like everything else in life.

So it should really come as no surprise that OPEC’s latest monthly report, which was released Oct. 12, showed production from member countries increased in September to average about 33.39 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d).

At times, playing cat and mouse remains OPEC’s chief past time.

Reuters reported that the figure, up 220,000 bbl/d in August and as much as 890,000 above the new supply target, was the highest in at least eight years.

OPEC members have pledged to reduce production levels to between 32.5 MMbbl /d and 33 MMbbl/d when it meets again in November. But that remains to be seen.

The typically cyclical oil market has been in the doldrums ever since OPEC’s historic November 2014 decision to pump more oil and defend its market share against rivals elsewhere, specifically technologically-savvy shale producers in North America. The aftermath ushered in an era of battered profits, stalled projects, hundreds of thousands of unemployed oil and gas workers and slowed activity, including in the U.S.

In the years since, commodity prices have slowly recouped some of the losses. The International Energy Agency believes “the waiting game is over,” saying “OPEC has effectively abandoned its free market policy set in train nearly two years ago. … The price of oil has risen by 15% to more than $53/bbl since the [Sept. 28] deal, the first to cut supply since 2008. Now the real work starts.”

RELATED LINK: Waiting Game Over? IEA Says OPEC Cuts Will Hasten Rebalancing

A multitude of uncertainties remain. Rising output from Iran, Nigeria and Libya isn’t covered by OPEC’s production cap. Production ramp-ups from non-OPEC countries, including the U.S., are already predicted to occur in late 2016 and more volumes will come if market conditions improve.

Only an OPEC oil market report with declining production will prove whether OPEC’s word is bond, although its pledge is promising. The OPEC general secretary recently told reporters that OPEC nations had lost $1 trillion since 2014.

If global demand, which is expected to rise by about 1.2 MMbbl/d, doesn’t keep up pace with supply, it could just be more of the same, unfortunately.

But that also remains to be seen.

Some in the industry doubt OPEC’s pledge will happen.

“I don’t think they [OPEC] can do any substantial cut. There are too many uncertain factors involved,” Gunvor Group’s CEO Torbjorn Tornqvist told Reuters.

A former Shell Oil Co. executive may have said it best when describing the state of the industry in March.

“We have been manipulated and victimized too many times through too many cycles over the last 60 years by OPEC,” John Hofmeister, founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy, said during an industry event in Houston.

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Like a disappointed teacher who sees the potential of a student, Hofmeister chided the industry for not helping itself, subjecting itself to the cyclical nature of the business and having the “I’ll take care of mine; you’ll take care of yours and we’ll meet in the marketplace” mentality.

To the oil and gas industry’s credit, however, the downturn has forced many to reach out to their peers to form partnerships—in some cases merging into one—in pursuit of better business models. Most have embraced new technology and revamped operations in an effort to do better business. Large-cap U.S. shale companies have been able to drastically reduce drilling costs thanks to those efforts.

He encouraged the industry, specifically those in the U.S., to put the bounty of natural gas supplies to use in the transportation industry.

The industry should also be encouraged to continue focusing on ways to improve, regardless of OPEC’s next move.

Velda Addison can be reached at vaddison@hartenergy.com.