Platts Survey: OPEC Oil Output Up Above Target

The 10 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bound by the group's crude oil output agreements boosted production by 40,000 barrels per day to 26.6 million in June, from a revised May level of 26.56 million b/d, a Platts survey showed July 11. This is well above the 25.8-million b/d production target set in February by the so-called OPEC-10.

Total OPEC output, including volumes from Iraq and new member Angola, averaged 30.22 million b/d in June, slightly higher than a revised figure of 30.21 million b/d for May, the survey showed. Iraq does not participate in OPEC output agreements, while Angola, whose membership of the group began in January, has yet to accept or be allocated any output target.

Small volume increases totaling 80,000 b/d from Angola, Iran, Nigeria and the UAE were almost completely offset by output decreases totaling 70,000 b/d from Iraq, Indonesia and Venezuela.

Nigerian production in May has been revised downward to 2.05 million b/d from 2.13 million b/d. In June, the survey found Nigerian production to have risen to 2.08 million b/d from the revised May level.

The International Energy Agency has called on OPEC to increase production ahead of the winter to ensure consumer stocks are adequate. OPEC has insisted that there is no current need for additional supply from its members but that it stands ready to produce more crude if this becomes necessary.

"Given what groups such as the International Energy Agency are saying is required for supply and demand to stay balanced in the second half of the year, consumers can't view this latest report as anything but discouraging," says John Kingston, Platts global director of oil. "Particularly worrisome is the fact that in the best one-step-forward-one-step-back practice, the production gains that were recorded were offset by losses elsewhere, including Venezuela. A supply- demand balance that many see as a squeeze now, could be much tighter by the end of the year."

OPEC is next scheduled to meet on September 11 in Vienna, where it has its headquarters. The group last met in mid-March, when it decided to keep in place the nominal 1.7 million b/d in output curbs agreed late last year.

    Country      June        May        April      March    February     Cut
    Algeria     1.350      1.350        1.330      1.330       1.330   0.084
    Indonesia   0.830      0.840        0.840      0.850       0.840   0.055
    Iran        3.880      3.850        3.800      3.800       3.800   0.249
    Kuwait      2.420      2.420        2.410      2.410       2.410   0.142
    Libya       1.680      1.680        1.680      1.680       1.680   0.102
    Nigeria     2.080      2.050 r      2.200      2.150       2.250   0.142
    Qatar       0.800      0.800        0.790      0.790       0.790   0.050
     Arabia     8.610      8.610        8.600      8.600       8.600   0.538
    UAE         2.550      2.540        2.500      2.500       2.490   0.143
    Venezuela   2.400      2.420        2.420      2.430       2.430   0.195
    OPEC-10    26.600     26.560 r     26.570     26.540      26.620   1.700
    Angola*     1.640      1.630        1.580      1.570       1.550     N/A
    Iraq        1.980      2.020        2.040      2.000       2.010     N/A
    Total      30.220     30.210 r     30.190     30.110      30.180

    ** Angola joined OPEC on January 1, 2007