El Badri, OPECThe Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will raise crude shipments through to early December as demand for heating fuel increases with the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere, according to research firm and tanker tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will bolster sailings by 400,000 barrels a day, or 1.7 percent, to 23.93 million barrels in the four weeks to Dec. 7, the researcher said Thursday in a report. That compares with 23.53 million in the period to Nov. 9. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“Refinery rates are rising again, so that will pull up crude demand,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said.

Brent crude futures have slipped 1.9 percent this year, trading near $109 a barrel last Thursday.

Middle Eastern exports will advance 2.2 percent to 17.57 million barrels a day in the month to Dec. 7, versus 17.19 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. Those figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will increase by 1 percent on Dec. 7 to 484.88 million barrels from 480.1 million four weeks prior, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings and excludes crude held on vessels for storage.

OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. It will next meet in Vienna on Dec. 4.


[Business Day]