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OPEC to Cut Exports by Most in Seven Months, Oil Movements Says

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will curb shipments by the most in seven months as refiners begin seasonal maintenance while summer demand for driving fuel ebbs, tanker-tracker Oil Movements said.

The group, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will cut exports by 500,000 barrels a day, or 2 percent, to 24 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Aug. 17, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. It’s the biggest reduction since early January. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“By this point any long-haul barrels will be hitting the shore at the end of summer,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said today by phone from Halifax, England. “In the West, refinery maintenance is under way by mid-September,” when cargoes for this loading period will arrive, he said.

Refiners typically trim imports at the start of the third quarter while performing maintenance as summer demand for gasoline and diesel ebb. Brent crude traded for about $108 a barrel today on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, having slipped almost 2 percent this year.

Middle Eastern shipments will drop by 2.6 percent to 17.7 million barrels a day to Aug. 17, compared with 18.2 million in the month to July 20, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will be little changed at 495.6 million barrels, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates the volumes by tallying tanker bookings. Its figures exclude 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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