OPEC Output Increases Just 10,000 Barrels Per Day in August

OPEC's 11 members pumped a total 30.26 million barrels per day (mil b/d) of crude in August, just 10,000 b/d more than their collective output in July, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed September 9.

Excluding Iraq, the ten members with quotas produced an average 28.37-mil b/d in August, 80,000 b/d above July's 28.29-mil b/d, the survey showed.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious that in the short term most OPEC countries cannot produce much more than they are doing," said John Kingston, global director of oil at Platts. "We are seeing very small increments even though prices are higher, in nominal terms, than they have ever been."

"But with Katrina, we're in uncharted waters for the entire oil sector," Kingston said. "You have the obvious factors that will drive prices higher, such as the loss of Gulf of Mexico crude. But you have a price-driven decline in demand, sale of crude from strategic reserves, and refineries down. We are hearing the occasional report of other grades of crude, amazingly, looking for homes. So the surge in the call on OPEC crude might not be quite as severe as might have been predicted a week ago."

Among the so-called OPEC-10, the biggest single increase came from Saudi Arabia, whose output rose by 50,000 b/d to 9.55-mil b/d. Other smaller increases totaling 40,000 b/d came from Algeria, Qatar and the UAE, while Venezuelan output declined by 10,000 b/d to 2.62-mil b/d.

The only other country to show a decline was Iraq, whose overall exports were down on the previous month, and whose average production in August the survey estimated at 1.89-mil b/d.

    Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya and Nigeria maintained output at July
levels.

           Country-by-country breakdown of production with figures
                             in millions of b/d:

    Country     Aug 05     July 05     June 05     May 05     Apr 05    July 1
                                                                         Quota
    Algeria      1.350       1.340       1.330      1.310      1.300     0.894
    Indonesia    0.940       0.940       0.950      0.950      0.950     1.451
    Iran         4.000       4.000       3.990      3.980      3.950     4.110
    Iraq         1.890       1.960       1.850      1.820      1.860       N/A
    Kuwait       2.550       2.550       2.550      2.550      2.500     2.247
    Libya        1.650       1.650       1.630      1.630      1.620     1.500
    Nigeria      2.450       2.450       2.450      2.400      2.370     2.306
    Qatar        0.790       0.780       0.780      0.780      0.780     0.726
    Saudi Arabia 9.550       9.500       9.500      9.550      9.500     9.099
    UAE          2.470       2.450       2.430      2.400      2.450     2.444
    Venezuela    2.620       2.630       2.640      2.650      2.680     3.223
    Total       30.260      30.250      30.100     30.020     29.960       N/A
    OPEC 10
    (excluding
     Iraq)      28.370      28.290      28.250     28.200     28.100    28.000
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