EconSource: OPEC Oil Output Hits Highest Since October on Iraq, Saudi Rebound

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported that oil supply last month jumped to its highest since October as Iraq’s exports rebounded and Saudi Arabia pumped at close to record rates. The increase adds to excess supply in the market, despite some signs that the halving of crude prices since June 2014 has encouraged higher oil demand. Besides Saudi Arabia’s increased output, the main reasons for the rise are the resolution of involuntary outages. Iraq increased exports due to improved weather and Libya managed to nudge production higher despite unrest. If the March total remains unrevised at 30.63 million bpd, OPEC oil supply would be highest since October 2014. [Reuters, 3/31/2015]

Libya’s two biggest oil ports to open soon
Libya’s two biggest oil ports, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, will open once the National Oil Company (NOC) conducts security and safety checks after forces backing the country’s rival government have left the area, a NOC official has said. The two ports, which can produce a combined 600,000 barrels per day, are under the control of forces loyal to the eastern government in Tobruk. The ports were closed in December after fighting erupted. [Reuters, 3/31/2015]

UAE plans to boost its gas import capacity
The United Arab Emirates plans to increase its gas import capacity and sees a fall in liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices as an incentive for many countries to diversify their gas supplies. The country’s energy minister said the UAE plans to upgrade Dubai’s floating LNG regasification import facility at Jebel Ali port. The UAE is also building an LNG import facility at the port of Fujairah with a capacity of 9 million tonnes a year. [Reuters, 4/1/2015]

Yemen citizens struggle as supplies dwindle
Yemeni civilians now face dwindling fuel, medicine, and food supplies under what has in effect become a blockade by sea and air. Residents are queueing in long fuel lines and hoarding food as prices for basic necessities rise. Fuel shortages are particularly worrisome due to Yemen’s reliance on diesel-fuelled pumps to maintain its water supply. The only two access points to acquire supplies due to the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade are now the Hodeida sea port and a Saudi-Yemeni border crossing near Haradh in the northwest. [Financial Times, 4/1/2015]

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