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OPEC Sep Supply Seen Dn 400,000 B/D on Mo-Petrologistics

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 9/22/2006, Location: Middle East

Oil supplies from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell 400,000 barrels a day on the month to 30.2 million b/d in September, according to preliminary figures from tanker tracker Petrologistics Friday.

Saudi Arabia and Iran led the fall in output. Petrologistics head Conrad Gerber said the kingdom produced 9.05 million b/d in September compared with 9.27 million b/d in August.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said in June that OPEC's biggest producer had reined in output to 9.1 million b/d in April from 9.5 million b/d on lower demand.

"Saudi Arabia could be producing more, but some of it could be going into storage," Gerber said.

Iran's output, which peaked in July at 4.2 million b/d when the Islamic Republic sold oil from floating storage, is at 3.9 million b/d in September, Gerber said. Iran supplied 4.0 million b/d in August.

Gerber pegged Nigerian oil supplies at 2.35 million b/d - a 20,000 b/d increase on August. OPEC's only west African member has had some 500,000-600,000 b/d of production shut in for several months due to militant attacks in the restive oil-rich Niger Delta and pipeline leaks.

Iraq, the only member without a quota, produced 2.2 million b/d in September compared with 2.1 million b/d in August as more crude was exported from northern oil fields around Kirkuk.

OPEC output by the 10 members subject to a quota was at 28 million b/d. OPEC ministers have expressed concern about falling oil prices and indicated that a cut in the production ceiling could be on the horizon in the near future.

Gerber said that even at 30.2 million b/d OPEC was producing more than the market needed."In August they were supplying 30.6 (million b/d) and that was too much and now they are at 30.2 which is okay, but still more than is needed," he said.

U.S. benchmark oil futures have slumped over $17/bbl since a high of $78.40/bbl in mid July. Friday, U.S. light sweet crude fell to a low of $60.51/bbl.

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