OPEC Pumps 29.95 Million Barrels per Day in June

OPEC boosted its overall production in June by 200,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 29.95 million b/d from 29.75 million b/d in May, thanks largely to a boost in Iraqi volumes as crude flows resumed along the pipeline linking Iraq's northern fields with Turkish port Ceyhan, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials showed July.

Excluding Iraqi volumes, production from the ten members with quotas under a notional 28 million b/d ceiling edged up by 40,000 b/d, to 27.83 million b/d in June from 27.79 million b/d in May, the survey showed.

Iraqi production rose by 160,000 b/d, from 1.96 million b/d in May to 2.12 million b/d, the highest level since October 2004. The higher volumes were the result of increased exports, including some 4 million barrels of Kirkuk crude lifted from Ceyhan on the Turkish Mediterranean in the last few days of the month.

Smaller production increases came from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Qatar and the UAE.

Nigerian production climbed by 50,000 b/d to 2.35 million b/d as higher output from offshore fields helped offset the 500,000 b/d of crude production shut in since early this year by militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.

The group's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, increased output by 50,000 b/d to 9.25 million b/d. Although the kingdom claims total current production capacity of 11.3 million b/d, it cut back its output over the spring from long-held levels of around 9.5 million b/d, saying there was little demand for its heavier crudes.

The increases, which totaled 320,000 b/d, were partly offset by 120,000 b/d of output decreases from Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, and Venezuela.

Most OPEC members, including Algeria, overproduced their notional output quotas in June, but Indonesia, Iran and Venezuela significantly underproduced theirs.

Indonesian production averaged just 920,000 b/d in June, 531,000 b/d under its 1.451 million b/d quota. Iran claims to be able to pump more than 4 million b/d, although it admits it has had problems selling heavier crudes such as Soroush and Nowruz, but the survey showed Iranian production at just 3.79 million b/d in June, 320,000 b/d below Tehran's 4.11 million b/d quota. Venezuelan production, which has never recovered after the crippling two-month oil strike of the winter of 2002-2003, declined further to 2.55 million b/d, which is 673,000 b/d below the country's 3.223 million b/d quota.

John Kingston, Global Director of Oil at Platts, said, "In a $75 market, it is worrying that three significant producers -- Iran, Indonesia and Venezuela -- showed drops in output. These countries are not even near their OPEC-designated quotas, which are not as significant as they once were, but the failure to even be at that level is a sign of both poor operational performance and declining geology. It's particularly striking that these countries had declines in the same month that a country racked by turmoil, Iraq, managed to turn in a significant upturn in output, and now looks like it will be regularly exporting crude from the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan."

Country      June    May      Apr      Mar      Feb      Jan      Quota

     Algeria      1.350   1.370    1.370    1.370    1.370    1.370    0.894
     Indonesia    0.920   0.930    0.930    0.920    0.920    0.920    1.451
     Iran         3.790   3.850    3.880    3.860    3.860    3.900    4.110
     Iraq         2.120   1.960    2.010    1.820    1.790    1.530    N/A
     Kuwait       2.540   2.540    2.540    2.540    2.540    2.540    2.247
     Libya        1.690   1.670    1.670    1.670    1.670    1.660    1.500
     Nigeria      2.350   2.300    2.200    2.150    2.370    2.400    2.306
     Qatar        0.820   0.810    0.810    0.810    0.800    0.800    0.726
     Saudi Arabia 9.250   9.200    9.100    9.500    9.500    9.480    9.099
     UAE          2.570   2.540    2.530    2.500    2.480    2.540    2.444
     Venezuela    2.550   2.580    2.590    2.600    2.600    2.580    3.223
     Total       29.950  29.750   29.630   29.760   29.920   29.680   28.000
     OPEC 10     27.830  27.790   27.620   27.940   28.130   28.150   28.000
     (excluding Iraq)

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