OPEC to Boost Exports on Winter Fuel Demand, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will increase crude shipments through late December as refiners boost purchases to meet winter heating demand, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will raise sailings by 710,000 barrels a day, or 3 percent, to 24.22 million barrels in the four weeks to Dec. 21, the researcher said today in a report. That compares with 23.51 million in the period to Nov. 23. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“It’s a move up to peak winter demand and refinery runs” in the northern hemisphere, Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. He expects sailings from Saudi Arabia to rise in December.

OPEC decided to maintain its production target at 30 million barrels a day at a meeting in Vienna this week. The group is “satisfied” with current demand, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, told reporters at the end of three hours of closed-door talks yesterday. Brent crude futures have gained 0.6 percent this year, trading near $111.75 a barrel today.

Middle Eastern exports will increase 2.3 percent to 17.65 million barrels a day in the month to Dec. 21, compared with 17.26 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. The figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will rise by 3.3 percent to 488.84 million barrels through Dec. 21 from 473.43 million in the previous period, 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.

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