The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s eleven members, including Iraq, pumped an average 24.8 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in June, down 80,000 barrels from the previous month’s 24.9 million bpd, reported a Platts OPEC survey. Excluding Iraq, the ten members bound by output quotas under a 21.7 million bpd ceiling boosted their combined output by 90,000 bpd to 23.2 million bpd in June from 23.1 million bpd in May.
These ten members have failed to meet their 21.7 million bpd ceiling since it came into effect at the beginning of January this year. Apart from the OPEC 10's initial effort to slash its production by 1.26 million bpd of combined crude output between December 2001 and January 2002, followed by further slight drops of 60,000 bpd between January and February and 30,000 bpd between March and April, production has increased. The June total for the OPEC 10 leaves them 1.52 million bpd in excess of their ceiling.
The net 80,000 bpd drop in total OPEC output in June was attributable to lower volumes from Iraq, whose production slipped to 1.62 million bpd from 1.79 million bpd in May. Baghdad has complained that the UN's retroactive pricing system is deterring buyers because they do not know what their costs will be when they lift the oil.
"The drop in Iraqi exports is yet one more sign of the never-ending standoff between Iraq and the UN," commented Platts' global director of oil, John Kingston. "Iraq does not like the way the UN administers the pricing of Iraqi barrels under the oil for food deal. The UN does not like the fact that Iraq asks for a surcharge from its buyers outside the UN plan. As long as this continues, the monthly numbers for Iraq will be highly volatile."
Five countries increased output by a combined 130,000 bpd, with individual increases ranging from 10,000 bpd in the case of Kuwait and Libya to 60,000 bpd in the case of Saudi Arabia. No member country produced within quota, although Indonesia was just a shade above its allocation. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )