Thursday, October 30, 2008

OPEC Production Rising

OPEC oil output rising in Oct - Petrologistics
By Alex Lawler
Oct 29th, 2008

* OPEC oil output expected to rise 200,000 barrels per day

* Saudi, UAE, Kuwait trim output, Iran and Angola pump more

OPEC's oil output in October is expected to rise by 200,000 barrels per day to 31.9 million bpd because of higher supplies from Iraq, industry consultant Petrologistics said on Wednesday.

The estimate also indicates that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding Iraq, is trimming output back to official target levels, in line with a Sept. 10 agreement to prop up prices.

Output from the 12 OPEC members with supply targets -- all except Iraq -- is expected to average 29.59 million bpd, little changed from 29.56 million bpd in September and less than their target of 29.67 million bpd.

"This has come down from well over 30 million barrels per day in August and is expected to come down further in November," Conrad Gerber, head of Petrologistics, told Reuters by telephone from Geneva.

Output is set to fall further, from November, following OPEC's decision on Oct. 24 to cut production by 1.5 million bpd in response to a steep fall in prices to about $66 a barrel, less than half the record high of $147.27 reached in July.

From Nov. 1, the production target for 11 OPEC members will drop to 27.3 million bpd.

OPEC's Gulf members are already trimming output, according to Petrologistics. Top exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to pump 9.05 million bpd in October, down from 9.2 million bpd in September.

Kuwait is forecast to lower supply by about 120,000 bpd in October and the United Arab Emirates is expected to curb output by 130,000 bpd, Gerber said.

Higher supply elsewhere in the group in October is offsetting the declines.

Angolan production is expected to rise by about 200,000 bpd because the BP Plc-led Plutonio field returned to service after maintenance work.

Iranian supply is forecast to climb to 3.85 million bpd from 3.7 million bpd in September. Its exports can vary month-to-month, affecting supply, while oilfield production remains steady.

Iraqi exports are rising in October, boosting supply to 2.31 million bpd from 2.14 million in September and accounting for the increase in overall OPEC output.

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.


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