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DUBAI: Saudi crude exports fell for the fourth month running in December, but the fall in shipments was less dramatic than the drop in oil production, official data showed yesterday.
Exports fell by 92,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 7.062 million bpd, compared to a 467,000 bpd drop in oil production from November to December, according to the official data from the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI).
Over the last two months of last year, the world’s top oil exporter cut production by around 700,000 bpd while exports fell by 216,000 bpd on weaker demand.
The more dramatic drop in production than in exports reflects a drop in Saudi Arabia’s own oil use and crude being taken from storage in December, in contrast to a 5.816 million barrel stock build in November, JODI data shows.
Oil markets closely monitor changes in Saudi production because it is the only country with enough spare capacity to significantly increase output to meet increases in demand. The country burnt an average of 303,000 bpd of crude in power plants in December, some 64,000 bpd less than in November and 29 percent less than the 424,000 bpd used in December 2011. Reuters