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OPEC Not Only Produced More Oil In August, But Shipped More Too

OPEC’s oil exports rose to a four-month high, tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg showed on Tuesday.

OPEC’s largest producers Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—which account for three-quarters of the cartel’s total production—shipped 15.73 million barrels of crude oil per day on average in August—an increase of 736,000 barrels per day over July levels, marking a four-month high, even as the group tries to live up to its promise to do “whatever it takes” to balance the oil market.

The volume of crude oil and condensate from Saudi Arabia and the UAE each increased their exports by 300,000 barrels per day. Iraq’s exports increased by 150,000 bpd, while Iran’s were up 65,000.

Oil flowing to the United States from Persia Gulf OPEC countries, mostly from Saudi Arabia, but oil flows to the US are still down 58 percent year on year. These imports will not be reflected in US import data until September.

OPEC is still falling in line with its established production quotas, despite the estimated rise in crude production and exports. Reuters' estimates of the group’s August production pegged it at 136 percent compliance.

OPEC’s total August production was estimated at 29.61 million barrels per day, according to a Reuters survey, with Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Iraq all increasing their production. Bloomberg on Monday estimated that the group’s production had risen 200,000 bpd for the month, to 29.99 million barrels daily. According to the Bloomberg data, Saudi Arabia’s production increased by 50,000 bpd in August, to 9.83 million bpd.

Russia—the largest non-OPEC member that signed onto the production cut deal—also increased production in August, but has since stated that it will adhere to its agreed upon cuts for the month of September.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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