BEIRUT

Regional

OPEC exports to drop as Saudis trim output

File - A general view of the OPEC building and logo in Vienna May 29, 2013. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce crude shipments through early next month as Saudi Arabia reduces exports, according to data from Oil Movements.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will reduce sailings by 110,000 barrels per day, or 0.5 percent, to 23.8 million barrels in the four weeks to Nov. 9, the tanker tracker said Friday in a report. That compares with 23.91 million in the period to Oct. 12. The figures exclude two members, Angola and Ecuador.

“The Saudis are actually starting to go down,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said.

If OPEC exports and demand remain at current levels, “by Christmas, you’re looking potentially at six months of serious surplus,” he said.

Refinery processing rates typically decline at the end of the third quarter as plants prepare to meet higher demand for heating fuel during the northern hemisphere winter. Brent crude was at $107.37 a barrel as of 3:57 p.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, after gaining about 6 percent in the three months to September.

Middle Eastern shipments will fall 0.9 percent to 17.45 million bpd in the month to Nov. 9.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 26, 2013, on page 4.

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