Friday, October 3, 2008

Conflicting OPEC accounts for September

OPEC oil output falls in Sept-Reuters survey
By Alex Lawler
Oct. 3rd, 2008

* OPEC oil output expected to drop 310,000 barrels per day

* Decline in OPEC supply is first since April

* Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Angola supplying less

OPEC oil supply in September fell, the first monthly decline since April, as violence in Nigeria cut output and top exporter Saudi Arabia trimmed production, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.

The survey indicates that output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of two in every five barrels of oil, was falling even before it agreed at a meeting in September to trim output and prop up prices.

"We are in a moment of turmoil. Vision is blurred," Shokri Ghanem, the top oil official for OPEC member Libya, told Reuters. "We will give it a few days until things calm down, then we can form an opinion."

Supply from all 13 OPEC members fell to 32.39 mbpd in September from 32.70 mbpd in August, according to the survey of oil firms, OPEC officials and analysts.

The decline was due to supply disruptions in two of OPEC's African members, and lower shipments to customers from the group's top two producers Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Attacks on Nigeria's oil industry curbed output by 60,000 bpd, the survey found. During one six-day period in September, militants bombed pipelines, platforms, gas plants and oilfields, halting up to 150,000 bpd of production.

Angolan supply dropped because the BP Plc-led Plutonio field remained closed. The 200,000-bpd site shut on Aug. 16 following an incident at a gas plant at the facility.


Fewer barrels from Saudi Arabia also contributed to the decline in output.

The kingdom supplied 9.55 mbpd in September, down from 9.65 million bpd in August, according to the survey. It had raised output earlier in the year partly to quell what it saw as unacceptably high prices.

Iranian supply declined by 50,000 bpd due to lower exports. Iran's exports can vary month-to-month, affecting supply, while oilfield production remains little changed, analysts say.

The survey suggests the 12 OPEC members bound by deals to set supply policy, all except Iraq, pumped 30.18 mbpd, above their target of 29.67 mbpd, the survey found.

OPEC supply may fall further in coming months should members implement an agreement reached in September in Vienna to comply strictly with its formal output target, a move OPEC officials said would result in members trimming their actual supply of crude oil by about 500,000 bpd.

OPEC also adopted a new supply target of 28.8 million bpd -- effectively unchanged because it excludes Indonesia, which has suspended its membership from Jan. 1 2009.

Supply from Iraq declined in September by 90,000 bpd to 2.21 mbpd due to rising domestic consumption and a slowdown in exports, the survey found.

Following is crude output in millions of barrels a day.

September August Target*
output output output

Saudi Arabia 9.55 9.65 8.943
Iran 4.00 4.05 3.817
UAE 2.62 2.63 2.567
Kuwait 2.61 2.60 2.531
Venezuela 2.37 2.36 2.47
Iraq 2.21 2.30 (R)
Angola 1.80 1.85(R) 1.90
Nigeria 1.90 1.96 2.163
Libya 1.70 1.68 1.712
Algeria 1.41 1.40 1.357
Indonesia** 0.86 0.86 0.865
Qatar 0.86 0.86 0.828
Ecuador 0.50 0.50 0.52

OPEC-12 30.18 30.40(R) 29.67

TOTAL 32.39 32.70(R)

(R) = Revised

*OPEC agreed at a meeting on Sept. 9-10 to adopt a production ceiling of 28.8 million bpd for 11 members, all except Indonesia and Iraq.

The producer group declined to provide a list of individual members' output targets. The limits given are in line with figures previously issued by OPEC.

**Indonesia is included within OPEC until the suspension of its membership takes effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

OPEC quotas exclude condensate and natural gas liquids and apply to supply rather than wellhead output, defined to exclude movements to, but not sales from, storage. Saudi and Kuwaiti data includes Neutral Zone. Saudi data excludes oil produced for Bahrain. Venezuelan data includes upgraded synthetic oil.

OPEC exports to jump 540,000 bpd to Oct.11
Sept 25, 2008


OPEC oil exports, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will jump by 540,000 bpd in the
four weeks to Oct. 11, on strong Asian demand and seasonal factors, an analyst
who tracks future flows said on Thursday.

Seaborne crude exports from 11 OPEC members, including Iraq, will leap to 24.75 million bpd from 24.21 million bpd in the period to Sept. 13, British consultancy

The head of the consultancy, Roy Mason, said there was no evidence in the latest figures that OPEC had reined in output to comply with a Sept. 10 decision to trim output back to official targets.

"Everything is going East and it's a much bigger increase than we would
expect at this time of year. The rise to Asia is at a record high for
September," he said.

He said the jump could be partly explained by several big new refineries in China which are due to come on stream this year, as well as seasonal demand which picks up at the start of the fourth quarter.

"The refinery factor could argue the (rise) is a transient thing," Mason

The estimate follows a report from another leading analyst, Petrologistics, which showed production from the 13 members dropping 800,000 bpd through September.

OPEC oil output expected to drop
Sep 24, 2008

OPEC's oil supply is expected to fall sharply in September because of lower
output from members including Saudi Arabia and Iran, industry consultant Petrologistics said on Wednesday.

The estimate boosted oil prices and indicates that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was starting to cut supplies even before it agreed on Sept. 10 to trim output back to official targets.

OPEC's 13 members are expected to pump 32.6 million barrels per day in September, down from a revised 33.4 million bpd in August when output was unusually high, Conrad Gerber, head of Petrologistics, told Reuters.

"Things have come back to normal," Gerber said. "This has nothing to do with the OPEC decision. That reduction will come later on."

Much of the cutback is coming from OPEC's two largest producers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which supplied more oil than previously thought to customers in August.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to pump 9.55 million bpd in September, down from 9.7 million bpd in August. The kingdom raised output earlier in the year partly to quell what it saw as unacceptably high prices.

Iranian supply is forecast to decline to 4.05 million bpd from 4.4 million bpd in August. Its exports can vary month-to-month, affecting supply, while oilfield production remains steady.

The Petrologistics estimate suggests the 12 OPEC members bound by deals to set supply policy, all except Iraq, are producing 30.4 million bpd, more than their informal target of 29.67 million bpd.

OPEC at its meeting in Vienna on Sept. 9-10 adopted a lower target of 28.8 million bpd for 11 members, all except Indonesia, which will suspend its membership from Jan. 1, and Iraq.

Supply from Iraq is expected to decline by about 100,000 bpd to 2.2 million bpd in September due to rising domestic consumption and a slowdown in exports.

Militant attacks curbed output in Nigeria, which is expected to pump 1.8 million bpd, 140,000 bpd less than in August.

Petrologistics measures OPEC supply, which excludes oil produced but sent into storage, by tracking tanker shipments. OPEC itself does not issue timely estimates of its members' output.

October 3rd article:

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