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OIL & GAS

OPEC’s Oil Supply Hits Lowest Since June

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil supply has fallen in the month of February, as Nigeria exported less due to fewer shipments of its largest stream, Qua Iboe.

The fall can also be attributed to delayed exports from Iraq’s southern ports caused by poor weather and unrest in Libya, thereby slowing an expansion of supplies in the group’s second-largest producer.

OPEC supply has fallen in February to 29.92 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 30.27 million bpd in January, a survey by Reuters reported on Friday.

In November 2014, OPEC held a meeting in which a decision was made to retain its output target of 30 million bpd, despite collapsing prices and concerns from members such as Iran and Venezuela about falling oil revenue.

“There might not be an OPEC cut, but there is a supply cut from the south of Iraq,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

The largest reduction has come from Iraq, where southern oil exports slipped further from December’s record high due to bad weather delaying the loading and departure of tankers, according to shipping data and industry sources. Northern exports increased slightly.

With one more day left in February, the total could be revised. If it remains at 29.92 million bpd, February’s supply would be OPEC’s lowest since June, based on Reuters survey.

Iraq’s southern exports declined to 2.05 million bpd, from 2.39 million bpd in January. Exports from northern Iraq, comprising volumes of Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation and the Kurdistan Regional Government, have risen by 50,000 bpd.

The southern decline is unlikely to be permanent as Iraq presses on with an expansion of its oil capacity. Exports are likely to hit new records in coming months, technical problems and weather delays permitting.

OPEC’s other country with a notable decline in output this month is Libya, where ports and oilfields have been shut due to fighting and supply fell further in February to average 270,000 bpd, the survey found.

There was little change in output in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Elsewhere in OPEC, Angola lifted supply slightly in February, the survey found, partly due to a new crude stream, Sangos.

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