Saudi Arabia oil exports fall as trade fears keep prices in check
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell by 277,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February from the month before, official data showed.
The world’s top oil exporter shipped 6.977 million bpd in February, down from 7.254 million bpd in January, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
The Kingdom pumped 10.136 million bpd in February, down from 10.243 million bpd in January.
Saudi crude inventories rose to 204.567 million barrels in February from 200.834 million in January, the JODI data showed.
Refineries in the Kingdom processed 2.767 million bpd in February, up from 2.758 million bpd in January, according to JODI.
Prices have been supported this year by an agreement reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Global supply has been tightened further by US sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.
Iran’s crude exports have dropped in April to their lowest daily level this year, tanker data showed and industry sources said, suggesting a reduction in buyer interest ahead of expected further pressure from Washington.
Indian refiners are turning to other OPEC members, Mexico and the US to make up for any loss of Iranian oil.
Spain’s Repsol has suspended its swaps of refined products for crude with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA, people familiar with the matter said, as US officials weigh penalties for foreign firms doing business with Venezuela.
Growing US oil production and concerns over the US-China trade dispute are keeping prices in check.
US crude oil output from seven major shale formations
was expected to rise by about 80,000 bpd in May to a record 8.46 million bpd, the EIA said in its monthly report on Monday. Surging US production has filled some of the gap in supplies, although not all of the lost production can be immediately replaced by US shale oil due to refinery configurations.
Saudi exports of refined oil products in February fell to 1.461 million bpd, from 1.616 million bpd the month before, the data showed.
The OPEC heavyweight used 259,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power in February, down from 377,000 bpd the month before, while Saudi demand for oil products in February was 2.157 million bpd, up slightly from 2.073 million bpd in January.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of OPEC to JODI, which publishes them on its website.