Platts Survey: OPEC Crude Oil Output Rises 300,000 b/d to 32.77 Million Barrels Per Day In July

    LONDON, Aug. 12 /CNW/ -- Platts -- The Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries' (OPEC) 13 members boosted their collective crude oil
production by 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) in July to average 32.77 million
b/d over the month, according to a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry
officials just released.
    Excluding Iraq, the 12 members bound by output agreements produced an
average 30.31 million b/d in July, or 330,000 b/d more than June's 29.98
million b/d and 637,000 b/d in excess of their 29.673 million b/d target, the
survey showed.
    "It's notable that suddenly, with output rising, OPEC officials are
concerned about adherence to quotas and oversupply," said Platts Global
Director of Oil John Kingston. "However, as we look toward the fourth quarter
of the year, barring a more significant decline in demand, the world is going
to need OPEC oil to avoid a larger inventory draw than is normal for the
fourth quarter. Pulling inventories at that rate would be very bullish for
    Increases totaling 390,000 b/d from Iran, Kuwait, Nigeria and Saudi
Arabia were partly offset by declines in Libya and Iraq.
    The biggest single increase came from Saudi Arabia, which delivered on
its promise to boost output to 9.7 million b/d in July from 9.45 million b/d
in June.
    Nigerian production also got a boost, its volumes increasing by 100,000
b/d in July to average 1.9 million b/d over the month. Indeed, Nigerian oil
production was showing signs of improvement over the first few days of August
with an average of more than 2.1 million b/d.
    But industry sources and officials from the state-owned Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation said last week that the volume of crude still shut in
because of militant attacks and technical issues at fields in the southern oil
patch stood at 1.533 million b/d.
    Libyan volumes, already down in May and June because of repair work at
Total's al-Jurf field, fell further in July as maintenance work got underway
on a pipeline linking the Waha and Defa oil fields.
    Libya's top oil official, Shokri Ghanem, who heads the National Oil
Corporation, told Platts last week that the work on the pipeline and the field
would continue for some weeks.
    Iraqi volumes fell by 30,000 b/d to 2.46 million b/d.
    OPEC ministers meet September 9 in Vienna. International crude futures
prices have fallen by some 20% from records above $147/barrel in early July
and some ministers have talked of possible intervention if prices continue on
their sharp downtrend.
    Iranian oil minister Gholamhossein Nozari said earlier this month that if
prices continued to fall, the Vienna meeting would focus on closer adherence
to production targets, while his Qatari counterpart, Abdullah al-Attiyah, said
OPEC was ready to intervene to restore market balance if it felt supply was
outstripping demand.
for a table of production numbers by country. For more information on OPEC, go
to the "Platts Guide to OPEC" at
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