Platts Survey: OPEC Pumps 32.25 mb/d Crude Oil in January, up 220,000 b/d

    LONDON, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped an average 32.25 million (m) barrels per day
(b/d) of crude oil in January, or a 220,000 b/d increase from December's rate
of 32.03 million b/d, a Platts ( survey of OPEC and oil
industry officials showed February 14.
    The biggest single increase came from Saudi Arabia, which boosted volumes
to 9.2 million b/d in January from 9.02 million b/d in December. The UAE
boosted production to 2.59 million b/d from 2.5 million b/d in December after
a field maintenance program reduced output to 2.15 million b/d in November.
Other smaller increases came from Angola, Iran and Kuwait.
    "OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna earlier this month opted to leave
production targets unchanged, ignoring pleas from major consuming countries
for more oil," said John Kingston, Platts global director of oil. "Despite
this, however, January production was nearly 290,000 b/d higher than the
official target. But the big part of this increase came from Saudi Arabia,
which supports the view that virtually all of OPEC's spare capacity lies
within one country."
    Kingston says the ability to repeat these numbers in February may be
tested by new politically-driven problems in Nigeria. Platts estimates that
the amount of oil offline in that country has climbed a few hundred thousand
barrels per day and now stands at one million b/d.
    Excluding Iraq, the 12 members bound by output agreements produced an
average 29.96 million b/d in January, up 230,000 b/d from December's
29.73 million b/d and 287,000 b/d in excess of their 29.673 million b/d
    Output increases totaling 340,000 b/d were partly offset by 120,000 b/d
of decreases.
    Nigerian production slipped after Shell was forced to declare force
majeure on crude shipments from its Forcados export terminal following a
pipeline attack.
    Iraqi volumes were marginally lower, despite higher exports, after fires
at two refineries reduced the volume of crude used domestically. Indonesian
production was also slightly lower than December levels.
    OPEC's 29.673 million b/d output target incorporates allocations, agreed
at a December meeting in Abu Dhabi, of 1.9 million b/d for Angola, which
joined the group in January 2007, and 520,000 b/d for Ecuador, which rejoined
in November after leaving in the early 1990s.
    At its most recent meeting, on February 1, ministers decided to leave
output targets unchanged and to review the situation on March 5.

    Country                     January     December      Target

    Algeria                      1.39         1.39         1.357
    Indonesia                    0.83         0.84         0.865
    Iran                         3.98         3.97         3.817
    Kuwait                       2.55         2.54         2.531
    Libya                        1.74         1.74         1.712
    Nigeria                       2.1          2.2         2.163
    Qatar                        0.83         0.83         0.828
    Saudi Arabia                  9.2         9.02         8.943
    UAE                          2.59          2.5         2.567
    Venezuela                     2.4          2.4          2.47
    OPEC-12                     29.96        29.73        29.673
    Angola(*)                    1.85          1.8           1.9
    Iraq                         2.29          2.3           N/A
    Total                       32.25        32.03           N/A

    (*) Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007.

    For more information on OPEC, go to the "Platts Guide to OPEC" at

    About Platts:

    Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP), is a leading
global provider of energy and commodities information. With nearly a century
of business experience, Platts serves customers across more than 150
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Platts' real time news, pricing, analytical services, and conferences help
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