Opec output falls 90,000 bpd in Nov
London, December 11, 2012
Crude oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) declined 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 31.08 million bpd in November, a Platts survey showed.
This follows October production of 31.17 million bpd and leaves Opec exceeding its 30 million bpd output ceiling that was agreed to last December, and extended in June, by more than one million bpd, it said.
Decreases totaling 140,000 bpd from Angola, Iran, Libya, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia were partly offset by increases totaling 50,000 bpd from Ecuador, Qatar and the UAE.
The latest survey estimates Iranian output at 2.7 million bpd in November. This follows a steady decline through the year amounting to a loss of some 820,000 bpd since January, ahead of and after the implementation of US and European Union sanctions targeting Iran's economic lifeline, its oil export revenues.
An EU embargo on imports of Iranian oil in force since July 1 has deprived Iran of a market for some 600,000 bpd of crude. Brussels has also banned the provision of key EU-linked insurance for ships carrying Iranian oil, a move which has had a measurable impact on Asian shipments of Iranian oil.
US sanctions which came into force in late June have also hit Iran's exports to Asia, though the Obama administration has awarded exemption to countries showing significant reductions in imports, easing the sanctions bite on those nations.
The sanctions noose is set to tighten further in early February 2013 as a result of a widening of the US measures, under which an exempted country will be able to continue to buy Iranian oil and avoid sanctions, but only if it makes its oil payment into an account at a bank within its borders. The oil payment can then only be used to facilitate permissible trade between that country and Iran and cannot be transferred to a third country.
Opec ministers meet in Vienna this week, on December 12, to determine crude output policy for the year ahead. There has been no indication that the group will do more than endorse the current 30 million b/d overall ceiling, agreed a year ago and extended in June, which does not include individual country quotas, Platts said. - TradeArabia News Service
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