OPEC Shipments Fall From ‘Abnormal’ Levels, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will trim shipments from unusually high levels through to the middle of May as demand from Asian refiners declines, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC will export 24.13 million barrels a day in the four weeks to May 12, compared with 24.15 million a day in the period to April 14, the researcher said in an e-mailed report today. The data exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“It’s entirely down to lower eastern shipments,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by telephone from Halifax in England. “This is one of the low points of the year. Levels have been much too high for the season, something abnormal has gone on.”

Exports from the Middle East, including non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen, will decline 0.4 percent to 17.9 million barrels a day in the four-week period, according to the report.

Crude on board tankers will average 501.45 million barrels in the four weeks, up 1.8 percent from the month to April 14, 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.