OPEC deliveries down for maintenance

Aug. 31, 2012 at 6:56 AM

HALIFAX, England, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A shipping monitor said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut exports to U.S. and European markets because of maintenance schedules.

Data provided by Oil Movements, a company that monitors tanker traffic, to Bloomberg News indicate OPEC will cut U.S. and European exports 1 percent to 23.8 million barrels per day.

"Sailings are declining because we're at the end of the summer season," said Oil Movements founder Roy Mason in a statement to Bloomberg from Halifax, England. "The crude that will be loaded up until the end of next month will be arriving in the maintenance season."

Mason said OPEC export levels are declining less than what's usually expected during this season, suggesting demand from U.S. and European markets is increasing. Higher demand pushed Brent crude oil prices up 7 percent in August to more than $113 per barrel.

A statement from the Group of Seven industrialized nations, issued by the U.S. State Department, called on oil-producing countries to increase output to meet growing demand. They expressed concern that high energy prices could influence the rate of economic recovery.

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven told Bloomberg this week that oil markets are "sufficiently well-supplied."

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