The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will bolster crude shipments through to mid-December, driven by Iraq and as refiners come out of maintenance, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will raise sailings by 700,000 barrels a day, or 3 percent, to 24.05 million barrels in the four weeks to Dec. 14, the researcher said today in a report. That compares with 23.35 million in the period to Nov. 16. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.
“The main driver is the increase in capacity as refineries come out of maintenance both east and west of Suez,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. The increase will come mostly from Iraq, while the “Saudis are lagging behind,” Mason said. This time last year, Saudi Arabia reduced exports “sharply” in an attempt to prevent prices from falling, he said.
Brent crude futures were little changed from the beginning of this year, trading near $111 a barrel today.
Middle Eastern exports will increase 3.1 percent to 17.64 million barrels a day in the month to Dec. 14, compared with 17.11 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. The figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.
Crude on board tankers will rise by 3 percent on Dec. 14 to 487.81 million barrels from 473.58 million four weeks prior, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings and excludes crude held on vessels for storage.
OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. It will next meet in Vienna on Dec. 4.
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