OPEC oil supply rose in August for a fourth consecutive month due to higher output from top exporter Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Venezuela.
OPEC oil supply rose in August for a fourth consecutive month due to higher output from top exporter Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Venezuela. Supply from the 11 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with output targets rose to 26.20 million barrels per day (bpd) from 26.11 million bpd in July, the survey of oil firms, OPEC officials and analysts found.
The survey suggests OPEC has made 68 percent of promised supply cutbacks, down from 70 percent in July, and is a further indication that rising oil prices may be encouraging members to pump out extra barrels. Compliance is set to be a talking point when OPEC meets on September 9 to decide policy.
"As per usual, the higher the price, the greater the propensity for slippage relative to stated production target cuts," said Harry Tchilinguirian, analyst at BNP Paribas.
Oil set a 2009 high of $75 a barrel last week, even though inventories remain high and world demand has yet to recover from the economic crisis. Few currently expect OPEC to take any drastic action at next week's meeting.
"With the oil price resilient at $70, the cartel will probably maintain the status quo, emphasising compliance in a context of bloated oil inventories and weak demand," Tchilinguirian said.
The group, source of more than a third of the world's oil, has agreed to cut supply by 4.2 million bpd since September 2008 due to falling demand and prices. It has kept official output targets unchanged at meetings so far this year.
Supply was 1.36 million bpd higher in August than the implied target for the OPEC 11 of 24.84 million bpd, the survey found, meaning the group lowered output by 2.84 million bpd of the promised curbs.
That gives the 68 percent compliance rate, down from a revised 70 percent in July. Adherence peaked at 81 percent in April and March, but remains relatively high by historical standards.
Oil prices pared an earlier gain on Tuesday to trade lower. U.S. crude was down 12 cents at $69.84 as of 1123 GMT.
SAUDI ARABIA, NIGERIA
Several OPEC countries raised supplies slightly in August, including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Venezuela.
Nigeria supplied more crude because of fewer disruption to supplies caused by militant attacks in August than in July.
Output averaged 1.75 million bpd, up from 1.69 million bpd in July. Exports in September are set to rebound further, according to preliminary loading schedules.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's top producer, pumped an additional 50,000 bpd, leaving output above its target of 8.05 million bpd.
Venezuelan output nudged higher. The country returned to full production in its Orinoco heavy crude region, state oil company PDVSA said. PDVSA operates four upgraders there with foreign companies to turn tar-like crude into lighter oil.
Angolan output, on a rising trend, posted a decline because of lower exports in August. Still, shipments are expected to rebound and rise in October to a much higher 1.9 million bpd.
Iran, the second-largest OPEC producer, posted a slight drop in August supply but pumped 440,000 bpd above its OPEC target, the most in absolute terms of any member.
Iraq's production eased because of lower exports, which had climbed in July.
Including Iraq, all 12 OPEC members pumped 28.65 million bpd last month, up 40,000 bpd from July, the survey found.