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OPEC headquarters, Vienna, Austria

OPEC headquarters, Vienna, Austria

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says it is planning to reduce crude oil exports as major refineries in the US and Europe are halting production for maintenance. According to a report by Oil Movements, a company that monitors tanker traffic, as of next month, OPEC will be exporting 23.82 million barrels a day compared with 24.03 million a month earlier. Shipments from the Middle East will fall to 17.46 million barrels a day in the four-week period. “Sailings are declining because we’re at the end of the summer season,” Oil Movements founder Roy Mason told Bloomberg. “The crude that will be loaded up until the end of next month will be arriving in the maintenance season.” OPEC exports are declining less than what's usually expected during this season, which as Mason says shows the strong demand in the US and European markets. Brent crude oil prices raised more than 7 percent this month to USD 113.09 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in August. “The message from prices is that prompt oil is scarce,” Mason said. OPEC, which is responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s oil supplies, comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. TE/SS
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