OPEC to Trim Exports on Refinery Maintenance, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce shipments this month while refiners in the U.S. and Europe conduct seasonal maintenance, tanker-tracker Oil Movements said.

The group, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will cut exports by 190,000 barrels a day, or 0.8 percent, to about 23.7 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Aug. 31 from the period to Aug. 3, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“Exports are simply dropping through the rest of the summer, the direction is right” for the time of year, Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said today by phone from Halifax, England. “Westbound sailings are edging down a bit. The east has quite some way to go” before maintenance impacts shipments.

Refiners typically trim imports at the start of the third quarter while performing maintenance as summer demand for gasoline and diesel ebb. Brent crude climbed to a four-month high of $111.53 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London as clashes in Egypt and labor strikes in Libya raised concern that exports from the region will remain unstable.

Middle Eastern shipments will drop by 1.1 percent to about 17.3 million barrels a day to Aug. 31, compared with about 17.5 million in the month to Aug. 3, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will decline 4.3 percent to 481.7 million barrels, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings, and excludes 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.

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