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OPEC to Boost Exports as Refineries Resume, Oil Movements Says

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will increase shipments this month as refineries in Europe and the U.S. resume operations after maintenance, according to Oil Movements.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will bolster crude shipments by 300,000 barrels a day, or 1.3 percent, to 23.75 million barrels a day in the four weeks to March 30, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“It is Western demand that has pushed up long-haul sailings as we are looking at a period five to six weeks from now, which is the end of the refinery maintenance season,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. “The Americans are very long and are going to get longer as quite a lot of the westbound crude is heading there.”

Middle East shipments will increase by 1.7 percent to 17.4 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 17.11 million in the four weeks to March 2, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will average 469 million barrels, up 2.3 percent on the previous period, the data show. Oil Movements calculates the volumes by tallying tanker bookings. Its figures exclude crude held on vessels for storage.

OPEC comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The organization is next scheduled to meet in May.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Raj Rajendran at rrajendran4@bloomberg.net

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