OPEC's Total Crude Oil Output Rose to 32 Million Barrels Per Day in December, a Platts Survey Shows



    LONDON, Jan. 15 /CNW/ -- The members of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) produced an average 32.03 million barrels per day
(b/d) of crude oil in December, according to a Platts survey of OPEC and oil
industry officials January 14. This is up from November's rate of 31.65
million b/d.
    Production from OPEC's ten members bound by crude output agreements
averaged 27.43 million b/d in December, the survey showed. This is 460,000 b/d
more than in November and 177,000 b/d higher than the group's 27.253 million
b/d target which came into effect at the beginning of November.
    "The increase in supply is certainly welcome to this market," said John
Kingston, Platts Global Director of Oil. "It appears the group's on track to
meet its January target, which is nearly 29.7 million barrels per day for 11
of the members, excluding Iraq."
    The bulk of the December output increase was due to higher production
from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as key maintenance programs were brought
to a close. UAE production was estimated at 2.5 million b/d, 350,000 b/d
higher than November's 2.15 million b/d. Smaller increases of between 10,000
b/d and 40,000 b/d came from Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
The OPEC 10 excludes Iraq and new members Angola and Ecuador.
    Iraqi production was estimated at 2.3 million b/d, some 100,000 b/d lower
than in November. (Earlier this month, Iraqi oil ministry data obtained by
Platts showed total Iraqi output at 2.475 million b/d in December, despite a
sharp fall in exports from November levels. But Platts' methodology for
calculating output differs from that of the Iraqi government). Angolan
production edged up from 1.78 million b/d to 1.8 million b/d. Ecuador, which
left OPEC in the early 1990s but resumed its membership in mid-November,
produced an estimated 500,000 b/d.
    When OPEC met in Abu Dhabi in December it left the OPEC-10 target of
27.253 million b/d unchanged but allocated targets of 1.9 million b/d and
520,000 b/d to Angola and Ecuador from the beginning of January. OPEC's
production target rose to 29.673 million b/d on January 1, 2008. Iraq does not
participate in OPEC output agreements because it is in process of rebuilding
its oil industry after years of United Nations sanctions followed by a US-led
war.

    OPEC ministers will meet in Vienna on February 1. The beginning of this
year saw US light crude prices climb above $100/barrel, but several top OPEC
officials have said the high prices have less to do with any shortage of crude
than to do with non-fundamental factors such as geopolitics and speculative
activity in futures markets.



    
    Country        December   November   October   September   Nov 1 target
    Algeria         1.390      1.390      1.380      1.360      1.357
    Indonesia       0.840      0.830      0.830      0.830      0.865
    Iran            3.970      3.950      3.900      3.880      3.817
    Kuwait          2.540      2.500      2.450      2.420      2.531
    Libya           1.740      1.720      1.710      1.700      1.712
    Nigeria         2.200      2.200      2.190      2.180      2.163
    Qatar           0.830      0.830      0.820      0.810      0.828
    Saudi Arabia    9.020      9.000      8.800      8.700      8.943
    UAE             2.500      2.150      2.600      2.590      2.567
    Venezuela       2.400      2.400      2.400      2.400      2.470
    OPEC-10        27.430     26.970     27.080     26.870     27.253
    Angola(*)         1.800      1.780      1.750      1.720      N/A
    Iraq            2.300      2.400      2.280      2.170      N/A
    OPEC-10+
    Angola, Iraq   31.530     31.150     31.110     30.760      N/A
    Ecuador(*)(*)       0.500       .500      N/A        N/A        N/A
    Total           32.03     31.650      N/A        N/A        N/A
    
    (*) Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007. An output allocation of 1.9
million b/d assigned at OPEC's December 5 meeting in Abu Dhabi came into
effect on January 1.
    (*)(*) Ecuador resumed its OPEC membership in November. An output allocation
of 520,000 b/d came into effect on January 1.
    For more information on OPEC, go to the "Platts Guide to OPEC" at
www.opec.platts.com.
    
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Casey Yew +65-653-06552 Web Site: http://www.platts.com                 
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