OPEC to Cut Exports on Refinery Maintenance, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will trim crude shipments through to the middle of next month while refiners perform seasonal maintenance work, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will reduce crude exports by 370,000 barrels a day, or 1.5 percent, to 23.69 million a day in the four weeks to April 13, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“April is definitely the low point of the second quarter,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. “The refinery maintenance season peaks in April and drags on into May. The recovery in refining capacity and the increase in crude demand it generates doesn’t really show up in loadings until early May.”

Global refinery output in the second quarter was forecast at 74.8 million barrels a day, by the International Energy Agency in its month report on March 13. “Asian maintenance will constrain crude runs through mid-May. Only in June are runs forecast to rebound in a big way,” the IEA said.

Middle East shipments will decrease by 2 percent to 17.35 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 17.7 million in the four weeks to March 16, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will average 475.46 million barrels, up 0.4 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.

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