OPEC Exports Stable Amid ‘Tight’ Inventories, Oil Movements Says

OPEC will keep shipments little changed until the middle of this month as refiners replenishing depleted stockpiles offsets a seasonal decline in demand, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will export 23.32 million barrels a day in the four weeks to March 17, compared with 23.31 million in the period to Feb. 18, the Halifax, England-based researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“Stock-building is still going on even as refinery runs dip,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone. “There’s quite a lot moving west over the last two or three weeks while shipments east are dipping. It means stocks aren’t high.”

Exports from the Middle East, including non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen, will decrease 0.3 percent to 17.4 million barrels a day in the four-week period, according to the report.

Crude on board tankers will average 475.84 million barrels in the four weeks, up 0.5 percent from 473.38 million in the month to Feb. 11, Oil Movements said.

Oil Movements calculates shipments by tallying tanker-rental agreements. Its figures exclude crude held on board ships as floating storage.

OPEC’s members, which pump 40 percent of the world’s oil, are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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