Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports surged to a 20-month high of 7.433 million b/d in September, as the kingdom continues to draw down its stocks, the latest figures from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative showed.
The September export figure was a 219,000 b/d rise from September and the highest since January 2017’s 7.713 million b/d, in the first month that OPEC instituted its production cuts.
Refinery runs in OPEC’s largest producer fell to 2.626 million b/d in October, down 172,000 b/d from September, while direct crude burn for power generation increased to 536,000 b/d, up from 490,000 b/d.
Combining the exports, refinery runs and crude burn figures indicated that Saudi Arabia supplied 10.595 million b/d in September.
That was above its production of 10.502 million b/d, necessitating a 93,000 b/d draw from crude in storage.
The stock draw was the kingdom’s ninth monthly drawdown in 10 months, with Saudi inventories ending the month at 223.804 million barrels, down 11.6% in a year.
Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said last week that the kingdom would be slashing its crude exports in December by 500,000 b/d from November levels, which he did not disclose, as OPEC fears a supply glut in the months ahead.
Saudi oil product exports fell to 1.976 million b/d in September, down 162,000 b/d from
2.138 million b/d in August, the JODI figures showed.
Refinery output rose 29,000 b/d in September to 2.848 million b/d from 2.819 million b/d in August, according to JODI.
The JODI database, maintained by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum, comprises self-reported oil figures from 114 countries.
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