By Christopher Johnson
LONDON (Reuters) - Angolan state oil company Sonangol has added two new cargoes to its crude oil export programme for August, agreed loading programmes showed on Monday.
Angola is now scheduled to export 60 cargoes of crude oil in August, up from 55 cargoes in July and 56 cargoes in June, according to the agreed loading programme, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
The additional cargoes bring to 1.86 million barrels per day (bpd) the planned exports for August, up from 1.70 million bpd in July and 1.79 million bpd in June.
Sonangol's initial provisional loading programme for August, issued two weeks ago, listed 58 Angolan crude oil cargoes exporting an average of 1.80 million bpd.
Sonangol issues preliminary loading schedules with planned exports well ahead of the dates cargoes are due to be shipped and frequently changes details later in the month when it publishes its agreed programme.
ABOVE OPEC TARGET
The additional cargoes in August are one 950,000-barrel lot of Kissanje crude and one 950,000-barrel lot of Saxi Blend.
The new cargoes will push Angola's oil output even further above its target set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Angola says its OPEC output target is 1.656 million bpd but an OPEC internal document widely quoted by industry sources suggests Angola's limit is in fact 1.52 million bpd.
OPEC kept its official output limits unchanged at a meeting in March. In late 2008, it agreed to cut supply by 4.2 million bpd in response to lower demand and prices.
Angola has not managed to stay within its output target since limits were imposed, according to Reuters data, as a recovery in oil prices has encouraged producers to raise output.
Angolan oil output peaked in October of last year at around 1.93 million bpd and so far this year has averaged around 1.82 million bpd after several months of heavy production at the beginning of the year, Reuters data shows.
Demand for Angolan oil from Asia has been heavy over the last year with around 1.65 million bpd of West African crude, much of it from Angola, heading east in June.
Chinese buyers, mostly refiners, have taken around 30 cargoes a month of crude from Angola and other African producers such as Equatorial Guinea and Congo. Indian refiners have also been buyers of Angolan crude oil, trade sources say.