Friday, August 17, 2007

OPEC Oil Exports increase 260,000 bpd

OPEC Oil Exports in 4 Wks to Sep 1 Seen +260,000 B/D
by Spencer Swartz
Aug 16, 2007

LONDON - Seaborne OPEC oil shipments are expected to jump by 260,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to Sept. 1 from the previous one-month period, with nearly all of those exports headed to the U.S. and Europe, U.K. tanker tracker Oil Movements said Thursday.

The rise, the second in as many weeks, comes as some Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries push more barrels into the market to informally respond to increasing calls for the group to raise production, said Roy Mason, head of the consultancy.

"I think perhaps the Saudis are starting to move some oil west on the expectation that more oil will be needed," Mason said, although he cautioned that he didn't expect OPEC shipments to continue ramping up in the weeks ahead.

"We're at the end of the season as far as long haul sailings go" because of the end of summer and on the onset of autumn when energy demand tails off, Mason said.

OPEC shipments are seen rising to a total of 24.08 million barrels a day versus 23.82 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Aug. 4, he said.

Mason also revised down last week's data, with OPEC shipments now seen as having risen by a net 230,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to Aug. 25 versus the previous one-month period from an original expectation for a net rise of 360,000 barrels a day.

Sailings from key OPEC Middle East countries are forecast to increase by 330,000 barrels a day to 17.19 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Sept. 1 relative to the previous one-month period.

OPEC is currently producing between 700,000 to 800,000 barrels a day less than at this time last year, Mason said. A few weeks ago, OPEC had even more barrels out of the market year-on-year - about 1.2 million barrels a day year-on-year, Mason said.

OPEC is scheduled to meet in Vienna on Sept. 11 and indications from some OPEC ministers and officials are that the 12-nation producer group is likely to keep its production targets unchanged and not increase output, as the International Energy Agency and other outfits have been urging.

Oil Movements forecasts OPEC exports based on spot and term chartering of crude from OPEC member countries. Production from OPEC's 12 members meets around 40% of the 86 million barrels a day consumed globally.

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