OPEC August oil output falls on Libya despite Saudi boost

Written by Reuters | London | Updated: Aug 31 2013, 08:40am hrs
OPEC crude output declined in August as unrest and conflict in Libya disrupted supplies, a Reuters survey found on Friday, outweighing extra oil from Saudi Arabia and a recovery in Iraq.

Supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has averaged 30.32 million barrels per day (bpd), down from a revised 30.50 million bpd in July, the survey of shipping data and sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants found.

The survey also showed internal strife is undermining supply from African OPEC producers. The outages plus concern about a military strike against Syria pushed Brent crude to a six-month high above $117 a barrel this week.

"While Saudi Arabia may be stepping up production, the outage of Libyan crude oil alongside multiple declarations of force majeure on exports by fellow OPEC member Nigeria will remain supportive of Brent prices," said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity market strategy at BNP Paribas in London."The reason is because the crudes are of very similar quality to Brent and priced off the North Sea benchmark."

In July, involuntary curbs in Libya and no significant recovery in Nigeria have outweighed extra crude from top OPEC exporter, Saudi Arabia, and a rebound in Iraq's exports. Saudi supply to market in July was revised up by 250,000 bpd.

Oil falls to $115 on Syria

Brent crude oil slipped to $115 a barrel on Friday as fears over supply disruptions in West Asia eased after Britain said it would not join any military action against Syria. Oil prices were still on track for their biggest monthly gain in a year, with Brent up more than 6% in August, after unrest cut output in Libya.