Saudi oil exports drop on Opec deal
18 Apr 2017 - 22:43
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports in February fell to their lowest level since mid-2015, official data showed on Tuesday, as the world’s largest oil exporter complied with an OPEC-led agreement to cut output.
Saudi Arabia crude shipments dropped to 6.957 million barrels per day (bpd) from 7.713 million bpd a month before, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
In May 2015, Saudi oil exports were at 6.935 million bpd but they have been rising since then as the oil producer fought for market share before agreeing to curtail output last year. Exports hit a record in November 2016 of 8.258 million bpd.
OPEC’s biggest producer pumped 10.011 million bpd in February, up from 9.748 million bpd in January, but still in line with its OPEC output target.
Riyadh led OPEC and other producers in December to curtail output and prop up weak oil prices.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is curbing its output by about 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1, the group’s first reduction in eight years. Russia and 10 other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut half as much.
The Saudi energy ministry has said the kingdom supplied less crude to domestic and global markets in February despite higher output as it moved more barrels into storage.
Saudi inventories rose to 264.704 million barrels in February from 261.963 million barrels in January, the JODI data showed. Saudi inventories peaked in October 2015 at a record 329.430 million barrels.
Local refineries processed 2.673 million bpd in February, up from 2.127 million bpd in January. Exports of refined oil products in February rose to 1.515 million bpd from 1.154 million bpd the month before.
Saudi Arabia used 283,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power in February, up from 252,000 bpd in January, while Saudi demand for oil products rose to 2.131 million bpd in February from 1.959 million bpd the month before.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of OPEC to JODI, which published them on its website.
\(Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Edmund Blair)