Survey: OPEC 10 produces 1.6 million bpd above self-imposed ceiling
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s eleven members, including Iraq, pumped an average 28.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in January, an increase of 350,000 bpd from December's 27.75 million bpd, a Platts survey showed.
Output from the ten members bound by quotas rose by 300,000 bpd to average 26.15 million bpd in January, 1.65 million bpd more than their 24.5 million bpd ceiling.
All members increased production apart from Algeria, whose output was steady at 1.17 million bpd, and Indonesia, whose production dipped below the one million bpd mark to average 990,000 bpd over the month. Increases ranged from 10,000 bpd in the case of Venezuela to 80,000 bpd in the case of Saudi Arabia.
The survey estimated Iraqi production at 1.95 million bpd, up 50,000 bpd month-on-month, although exports from the Basrah Oil Terminal in the south were flat around 1.54 million bpd, the consequence of weather-related loading delays.
"OPEC is not expected to change its official ceiling and quotas at the upcoming Feb 10 meeting in Algiers but -- especially now that the basket appears to be moving back down towards the $22-28/bbl target range -- could well stress the importance of quota compliance," said global director of oil at Platts, John Kingston.
"The basket, which has now been above the target band for two months and has moved in excess of $31/bbl, stood at $28.20/bbl Thursday," Kingston said. "Rather than using the so-called price band mechanism which permits a 500,000 b/d output increase once the basket has spent 20 straight trading days above the band, OPEC -- concerned about projected lower demand in the spring -- has turned a blind eye to the overproduction."
The rising volume of leakage also throws a spotlight on the requests from Algeria, Libya and Nigeria for disproportionate quota increases to reflect increasing capacity levels, although OPEC is not seen as likely to come up with a solution in the short term. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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