Opec oil output rises in January: Survey

February 02, 2014 - 1:21:40 am
LONDON: Opec’s oil output has risen in January from December’s two-and-a-half-year low, due to a partial recovery in Libyan supply and higher shipments from Iraq and Iran, a Reuters survey found on Friday. 

Output from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries averaged 29.94m barrels per day (b/d), up from a revised 29.63m b/d in December, according to the survey based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, Opec and consultants.

The survey illustrates the potential for Opec supply to rebound in 2014 if Libya, Iraq and Iran sustain higher output. That could put pressure on oil prices without cutbacks from other members, such as Saudi Arabia.

In January, higher supply in Libya, more Iraqi exports and a further small rise in Iranian shipments outweighed reductions in Angola and Saudi Arabia. December production in Saudi Arabia, Libya and the United Arab Emirates was revised.

Opec’s December output was the lowest since May 2011, when the group pumped 28.90m b/d, according to Reuters surveys. Despite January’s increase, supply is below Opec’s nominal target of 30m b/d for a fourth straight month.

Opec’s biggest increase came from Libya, as the El Sharara field restarted in early January after protesters ended a blockade. Still, output remains less than half of the 1.4m b/d the country was pumping last year, and further recovery is by no means assured.

Iraq’s oil exports in January rose to 2.45m b/d, due to higher shipments from southern ports despite some disruption from bad weather. Exports of Kirkuk crude through northern Iraq declined. 

Iranian supply to market was estimated at 2.75m b/d, up 50,000 b/d. The modest pickup is the third consecutive monthly rise, according to sources who track tanker movements, and adds to signs that the easing of sanctions on Tehran is helping it sell more crude.

The largest decline in Opec was from Angola, whose output dropped 120,000 b/d because of reduced shipments of several crude streams including Girassol, Cabinda, Saturno and Palanca. 

Saudi Arabia, industry sources say, trimmed output due to a reduced requirement for crude to fuel domestic power plants and lower demand outside the country — although December’s supply was higher than earlier thought.

The kingdom has cut supplies from 10.05m b/d in August, the highest since records began in 1980, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration.  Reuters