OPEC’s August Crude Output Drops on Saudi Record, IEA Says

OPEC produced 0.8 percent less crude oil in August due to declining Libyan output, even as Saudi Arabia pumped the most in 32 years, the International Energy Agency said.

The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries produced 30.51 million barrels a day last month, the Paris-based IEA said today in its monthly oil-market report. This compares with an upwardly revised estimate for July of 30.77 million barrels.

Libya’s output fell to an average of 550,000 barrels in August from 1 million barrels in July, according to the report. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, pumped 10.19 million barrels a day, up 190,000 barrels from July, the IEA said.

“OPEC crude oil supplies turned lower again in August with a sharp downturn in Libyan production only partially offset by near-record output from Saudi Arabia,” the IEA said.

Iraqi crude production rose to 3.17 million barrels a day in August from a revised estimate of 3.06 million barrels in the previous month, the IEA said. Total Iraqi exports rose about 165,000 barrels a day to 2.47 million barrels a day, “with southern shipments exceptionally robust while northern volumes remained constrained,” it said.

Forecast demand for OPEC crude in the third quarter of 2013 increased by 200,000 barrels a day on higher demand, to 30.3 million barrels a day, the IEA said. Demand in the fourth quarter will slip to 29.6 million barrels as non-OPEC output rises, according to the report. Demand for the full year is unchanged from the IEA’s previous report at 29.9 million barrels a day.

OPEC’s “effective” spare capacity was estimated at 2.94 million barrels a day in August, compared with 3.08 million barrels in July, with Saudi Arabia holding over 75 percent of the surplus, the IEA said.

OPEC supplies about 40 percent of the world’s crude and comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Manama at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

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

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