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Rising Saudi crude exports leaves domestic stocks at 17-year low

Saudi Arabia’s crude exports rose to a seven-month high in November and, with production capped by the OPEC+ agreement, domestic stockpiles ended the month at a 17-year low, according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.

Shipments from the OPEC kingpin ticked up to 6.35 million b/d from 6.16 million b/d in October, the data released Jan. 20 showed. With production holding at 8.97 million b/d — just below its OPEC+ quota — Saudi Arabia’s domestic crude stockpiles fell by 1.2 million barrels in November to 143.43 million barrels, the lowest since November 2003.

Saudi crude exports have increased every month since dipping to a historic low of 4.98 million b/d in June, when the kingdom instituted voluntary production cuts in addition to those agreed with OPEC and its allies. The kingdom has again offered an extra 1 million b/d of cuts for February and March.

Saudi refinery intake dipped 63,000 b/d on the month to 2.34 million b/d in November, the JODI data showed. Direct use of crude burned for power generation dropped to 320,000 b/d from 391,000 b/d in October, with seasonal electricity demand for air conditioning continuing to ease.

Combining exports, refinery intake and direct-use figures showed Saudi Arabia supplied 9.01 million b/d to the market, up from 8.95 million b/d in October.

Under the OPEC+ accord, Saudi Arabia’s output quota was 8.99 million b/d through the end of 2020 and rose to 9.119 million b/d in January.

The country’s oil product exports, including LPG, naphtha, motor and aviation fuels, kerosene and diesel, slipped to 1.07 million b/d in November from 1.22 million b/d in October.

The JODI database is maintained by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum.
Source: Platts

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