OPEC Cuts Oil Shipments

ghana_oilThe Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will cut oil shipments in January 2013 by 1.0 percent as demand weakens after peaking for the northern hemisphere winter, tanker tracker Oil Movements has said.

It said the group will export 24.02 million barrels a day in the four weeks to January 19, down 250,000 barrels from the previous period.

It is not known whether this development is responsible for the unstable petroleum stock situation in some parts of the country recently even though the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has said that there is no cause for alarm.

Some filling station owners are apprehensive that there will be an increase in the prices of petroleum products by government, particularly since the year has just begun and also following the just-ended general elections.

Though the NPA has not come clear on whether there would be an increase in the price of petroleum products, stockpiles of petroleum products in Ghana, monitored by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), as of December 31, 2012 showed that diesel stood at 103.2 million litres while petrol stockpiles were at 77.0 million litres.

Stockpiles of ATK stood at 9.1 million litres while kerosene stocks were at 1.7 million litres. Premix fuel stockpiles stood at 0.4 million litres while stockpiles of LPG were at 5.5 million kilos.

Topping Unit and the Residual Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC) at the Tema Oil Refinery were both shut down.

The oil being produced in commercial quantities at the Jubilee Oilfield cannot take care of the country’s daily need and this raises concern.

Crude oil production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declined to a nine-month low in December as Saudi Arabian output dropped to the lowest in more than a year, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Output in the 12-member OPEC group slipped 110,000 barrels to an average of 31.43 million barrels a day in December 2012 from a revised 31.54 million in November 2012, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts.

Saudi Arabia pumped 9.57 million barrels a day of crude oil in December, the lowest level since October 2011.

By Samuel Boadi