OPEC to Trim Crude Exports on Refinery Halts, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will trim crude exports by about 1 percent this month as refiners in the U.S. and Europe halt plants for maintenance, according to Oil Movements.

OPEC, responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s oil supplies, will export 23.82 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Sept. 15, compared with 24.03 million a month earlier, the tanker-tracker said today in its weekly e-mailed report. The data exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“Sailings are declining because we’re at the end of the summer season,” Roy Mason, the researcher’s founder, said today by telephone from Halifax, England. “The crude that will be loaded up until the end of next month will be arriving in the maintenance season.”

Exports from OPEC are falling less the seasonal norm, reflecting strong demand in the U.S. and Europe, he said. Brent crude rallied more than 7 percent this month to trade at $113.09 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange today in London.

“The message from prices is that prompt oil is scarce,” Mason said.

Shipments from the Middle East, including non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen, will fall by 1.2 percent to 17.46 million barrels a day in the four-week period, the report showed.

Oil on board tankers will average 479 million barrels, down 4.1 percent from 499 million in the month to Aug. 18, the researcher said. Oil Movements calculates the volumes by tallying tanker-rental agreements. Its figures exclude oil held on board vessels used as floating storage.

OPEC comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The group plans to meet next on Dec. 12.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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