OPEC to Trim Exports on Refinery Maintenance, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce shipments by 0.4 percent this month as refiners in Europe and the U.S. perform maintenance, while higher demand within the Middle East limits exports, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC, responsible for about 40 percent of global supplies, will ship 23.73 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Aug. 25, compared with 23.82 million a month earlier, the researcher said in its weekly e-mailed report. The data exclude Angola and Ecuador. Middle Eastern fuel demand typically rises at this time of year because of higher electricity use for air conditioning, Oil Movements said.

“Late August is on the edge of the maintenance season for refiners in the west, and of course it is the summer season in the Middle East, so volumes available for export go down,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said today by telephone from Halifax, England.

OPEC lowered demand estimates for its crude this year and next in its monthly oil market report today, amid slowing growth in global consumption and higher output from other producers. The group said its 12 members will need to supply 29.5 million barrels a day in 2013, or 100,000 a day less than last month’s estimate. World demand will expand by 800,000 barrels next year to 89.5 million, compared with growth of 900,000 barrels a day this year, according to the organization.

Exports from the Middle East, including non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen, will decline by 0.6 percent to 17.38 million barrels a day in the four-week period, the report showed.

Crude on board tankers will average 493 million barrels, down 0.5 percent from the month to July 28, the researcher said. Oil Movements calculates shipments 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. It plans to meet next on Dec. 12.

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