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Saudi Arabia Keeps Oil Exports Stable as Iraq Raises

Source: Bloomberg 12/19/2012, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabian crude exports were little changed in October from the previous month, while Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, raised shipments by 4.1 percent, according to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative.

The kingdom, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, shipped 7.278 million barrels a day while keeping its output unchanged from September at 9.72 million a day. Iraq exported 2.71 million barrels a day even as it lowered its output by 3.1 percent, data posted today on the website of the initiative showed.

“Iraq wants every penny it can get, while the objective of Saudis is to stabilize the market,” Anas Alhajji, chief economist at NGP Energy Capital Management LLC in Irving, Texas, said by e-mail.

OPEC members are producing by about one million barrels over the 30 million barrel-a-day ceiling the group agreed to maintain at their meeting this month in Vienna. Iraq, which plans to boost output to an average 3.7 million barrels a day in 2013, is not planning to cut production, according to officials from the Middle Eastern state. Iraq’s crude output surged 650,000 barrels a day this year to 3.35 million, the biggest annual gain in 14 years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Crude sales from Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, surged the most among OPEC nations in October, followed by the United Arab Emirates, according to the initiative known as JODI. Angola’s exports rose 9.9 percent to 1.71 million barrels a day, it showed. The U.A.E. shipped 2.48 million barrels up by 6.2 percent. Venezuela cut exports by 8.3 percent to 1.69 million barrels, the data show.

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