OPEC crude falls below the 30 mln barrel mark

Iraq crude output continues to tumble

Iraq's unreliable oil supply drags OPEC output below the 30 m barrel mark.
Iraq's unreliable oil supply drags OPEC output below the 30 m barrel mark.

OPEC crude supplies slipped below 30 million barrels per day for the first time in almost two years, led by steep drops in Libya and Iraq, according to the International Energy Agency report.

Output fell by 645 kbpd to 29.99 mbpd despite Saudi output topping 10 mbpd for a third month running. The ‘call on OPEC crude and stock change’ was raised by 100 kbpd to 29.6 mbpd for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Iraq crude output according to the report is steadily falling. "As expected, Iraqi crude oil output tumbled in September in line with planned upgrading work at southern ports. Indeed, one unintended consequence of the planned work was damage to old underground pipeline connections that burst due to the pressure from work at the terminal, which forced the shut‐in of 450 kbpd," the report said.

Insurgent attacks along the northern pipeline route and the ongoing dispute over payments between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also capped exports of Kirkuk crude via the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. September production fell 400 kbpd to 2.82 mbpd, the lowest level since March 2012.

Total exports were down by a similar amount, to 2.07 mbpd, with sharply lower volumes from the south only partially offset by increased northern shipments. Basrah exports fell by 470 kb/d to
1.82 mbpd. The loss of Basrah crude oil exports affected all major regions. Shipments to Asia declined to 1.3 mbpd in September versus 1.6 mbpd in August, Europe at around 170 kbpd compared with 365 kbpd the previous month and volumes to the US at 270 kb/d against 326 mbpd, tanker data indicate.



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