OPEC Exports to Drop as Saudi Arabia Trims, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce crude shipments through early next month as Saudi Arabia reduces exports, according to data from Oil Movements.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will reduce sailings by 110,000 barrels a day, or 0.5 percent, to 23.8 million barrels in the four weeks to Nov. 9, the tanker tracker said today in a report. That compares with 23.91 million in the period to Oct. 12. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“The Saudis are actually starting to go down,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. If OPEC exports and oil demand remain at current levels, “by Christmas, you’re looking potentially at six months of serious surplus,” he said.

Refinery processing rates typically decline at the end of the third quarter as plants perform maintenance before preparing to meet higher demand for heating fuel during the northern hemisphere winter. Brent crude was at $107.37 a barrel as of 3:57 p.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, after gaining about 6 percent in the three months to September.

Middle Eastern shipments will fall 0.9 percent to 17.45 million barrels a day in the month to Nov. 9, versus 17.61 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. Those figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will rise by 3.6 percent to 513.05 million barrels on Nov. 9, 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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