VIENNA/SINGAPORE Any possible extra OPEC crude
supplies will be offset by planned maintenance on United Arab
Emirates oilfields in late October and November, traders said
But the work in OPEC-member UAE has been accounted for in
the plans of Asian refiners, who would still welcome any extra
barrels, they said.
OPEC, supplier of over a third of the world's oil, will
meet in Vienna on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab
states back a token increase in supply, an OPEC source said on
Monday, in the face of crude prices within a dollar of record
But the UAE, the world's sixth largest producer, has work
scheduled at three of its largest oilfields that is expected to
cut output by 810,000 barrels per day at its peak in November,
according to industry sources.
"Some endusers have prepared for the November shortage in
Abu Dhabi crude. Any rise would be okay. The high flat price
and the huge premium will kill demand," a trader with a North
Asian refiner said.
Maintenance is set to take place for two to three weeks on
the Lower Zakum, Upper Zakum and Umm Shaif fields from the end
The maintenance will hit production as demand from consumer
countries for oil rises ahead of the northern hemisphere
winter. The UAE's crude is a favored feedstock for Japanese
refiners making heating fuels.
Price premiums on the spot Middle East crude market have
surged over the past month on the back of the maintenance,
sending flagship light sour Murban to premiums of above 90
cents to its official selling price, the highest in well over a
year, adding to surging flat prices.
The UAE is planning to boost its output capacity to 3.5
million bpd by 2011 to 2012, from around 2.8 million to 2.9
million bpd now. The work will allow progress on expansion
Upper Zakum is the world's fourth-largest oilfield,
according to operator the Zakum Development Company (ZADCO).