OPEC not proactive in changing its tack

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ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Analysts of the US JP Morgan bank see little evidence yet that OPEC members are proactively changing tack away from defending market share, Kazinform refers to Trend.az.

In a report, obtained by Trend, analysts said that OPEC supply estimates were higher than expected in January and OSP (Official Selling Prices) discounts have reached their lowest levels since 2000.

"January estimates of production track levels seen in December, although Bloomberg' sinitial estimate of 30.9 million barrels per day (bpd) appears to be a positive outlier when compared to the OPEC and IEA (International Energy Agency) assessments of 30.2 million bpd and 30.3 million bpd, respectively.

> Total OPEC crude oil production in January averaged 30.15 million barrels per day, a decrease of 53,000 barrels per day over the previous month, according to OPEC's latest Oil Market Report.

IEA's estimates show that OPEC production fell by 240,000 bpd in January to 30.31 million bpd, led by losses from Iraq and Libya.

Global oil supplies, according to the IEA, fell by 235,000 bpd in January to 94.1 million bpd, on lower OPEC and non-OPEC production. At the same time JP Morgan's analysts believe that deterioration of the security situation in Libya and curtailment of Iraqi exports have tightened markets in the near-term.

"Idiosyncratic factors such as bad weather at ports in the Middle East Gulf (MEG) and the Mediterranean and the deterioration of the security situation in Libya are likely depressing supply," analysts said.

"Reports of a substantial curtailment of Iraqi export volumes from Basra, potentially halting the equivalent of 1 million bpd of exports in February, if confirmed, have tightened markets." "The length and severity of any disruption, e.g. if it were to stretch into March would similarly tighten expectations of market balances for end-1Q2015. But these factors should fade in time," according to the report.

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