OPEC Curbs Shipments Amid U.S. Output Surge, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce crude shipments this month as rising U.S. production dulls a seasonal increase in the nation’s imports, tanker tracker Oil Movements said.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will ship 23.88 million barrels a day in the four weeks to June 29, down 0.3 percent from 23.95 million in the previous period to June 1, the researcher said in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador. OPEC’s exports, which normally climb at this time with higher gasoline demand during the northern hemisphere summer, will recover next month, the consultant said.

“It should be going up by now, but it isn’t,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said today by telephone from Halifax, England. “Demand is being taken care of by domestic production, which is absorbing it, so the west is pretty dead. Any improvement is entirely in eastern shipments.”

U.S. crude production rose to 7.3 million barrels a day in May, the highest level since 1992, according to data from the Energy Department. While the nation’s imports from Saudi Arabia remain supported, the world’s biggest oil user is cutting back its intake from other OPEC members such as Nigeria and Algeria, which sell types of crude similar to those produced by the U.S., Mason said.

“We’ve still got the peak two months to come,” he said. “If there’s going to be a summer peak, it’s got to be in late July and early August.”

Middle Eastern shipments will slip by 0.7 percent to 17.56 million barrels a day, compared with 17.69 million in the month to June 1, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will fall 0.3 percent to 468.37 million barrels versus 469.92 million, 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.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.