09 December 2013, Lagos – The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would increase crude shipments through late December as refiners boost purchases to meet winter heating demand, tanker tracker Oil Movements, said.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 per cent of the world’s oil, will raise sailings by 710,000 barrels a day, or three per cent, to 24.22 million barrels in the four weeks to December 21, the researcher said in a report. That compares with 23.51 million in the period to November 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 per cent to 17.65 million barrels a day in the month to December 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 per cent to 488.84 million barrels through December 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.