The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s eleven members, including Iraq, pumped an average 26.6-million barrels per day (bpd) in July, up 370,000 bpd from June's 26.23 million bpd, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed.
Excluding Iraq, the ten OPEC members with quotas produced an average 25.92 million bpd, an increase of 150,000 bpd on their combined June output of 25.77 million bpd, the survey showed.
The OPEC 10 exceeded their 25.4 million bpd ceiling by 520,000 bpd. Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Venezuela-reduced output by a total 70,000 bpd. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia increased production by a collective 440,000 bpd.
The biggest single output increase of 220,000 bpd came from Iraq, whose production rose to 680,000 bpd in July from 460,000 bpd in June. Iran boosted output from 3.69 million bpd in June to 3.79 million bpd in July. Nigerian production recovered further, to 2.15 million bpd, after political unrest earlier in the year hit output. Saudi Arabia increased output by 40,000 bpd to 8.66 million bpd in July, leaving the Kingdom some 400,000 bpd above its OPEC quota.
"With WTI around $32/bbl, Brent close to $30/bbl and the OPEC basket holding above $28/bbl, there is every incentive for OPEC countries to pump more," said global director of oil at Platts, John Kingston. "I would not be surprised if the August numbers turned out to be higher still."
OPEC's next meeting is scheduled for September 24, but the cartel in theory can increase production by 500,000 bpd without the need to meet if its crude basket stays above the upper limit of the $22-28/bbl target band for 20 consecutive trading days. The basket has been above $28/bbl since August 1 and if it stays above $28/bbl for 20 days OPEC's so-called price band mechanism will be triggered in late August. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )