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Saudi's Crude Oil Exports Fall 3% in September

Saudi's Crude Oil Exports Fall 3% in September

Tuesday, 19 November, 2019 - 14:30
Oil tanks in Saudi Aramco field (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s September crude oil exports fell 3 percent to 6.67 million barrels per day (bpd) from 6.88 million bpd in August, official data showed on Monday.

September crude output fell by 660,000 bpd to 9.129 million bpd, figures from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed.

Crude stocks fell by 20.27 million bpd to 152.48 million bpd while domestic refinery crude throughput rose by 10,000 bpd to 2.584 million bpd, the data showed.

Drone and missile attacks on September 14 on two Saudi Arabian oil facilities, Abqaiq and Khurais, temporarily knocked out more than half the Kingdom’s output.

The US blamed Iran for sponsoring the attacks, however, Tehran denies the claim.

Following the attacks, Saudi Arabia managed to maintain supplies to customers partly by drawing from its huge oil inventories.

Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) provide monthly export figures to the JODI which publishes them on its website.

Meanwhile, OPEC’S share of India’s oil imports fell to 73 percent in October, its lowest monthly share since at least 2011, tanker data from sources showed.

India, which usually imports about 80 percent of its needs from OPEC, has been diversifying its sources of oil as local refiners have upgraded plants to process cheaper crude grades.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, shipped in 4.56 million bpd of oil in October, about 3.3 percent less compared with a year ago, data showed.

OPEC’s share of India’s imports in September was about 81 percent although total volumes were lower, as the South Asian nation cut imports to a three-year low due to maintenance at some refineries.

OPEC oil output dipped to an eight-year low in September after attacks on Saudi oil plants led to production cuts, a Reuters survey showed.

India shipped in a record 336,000 bpd of US oil in October, about 7.5 percent of total imports, data showed. The United States was Indian’s fourth-biggest supplier in October.

India’s fuel demand in October declined by 1.4 percent from a year earlier, and its diesel consumption fell by the steepest in about three years.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.42 percent, at $62.18 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 32 cents or 0.56 percent to $56.73 a barrel, slipping further away from an eight-week high hit last Friday when hopes for the trade deal rose.

Oil futures gained nearly 2 percent on Friday as comments from a top US official raised optimism for a US-China trade deal, but worries about increasing crude supplies capped prices.

The 16-month trade war between the US and China, the world’s two biggest economies and oil consumers, has slowed growth around the world and prompted analysts to lower forecasts for oil demand, raising concerns that a supply glut could develop in 2020.

OPEC said on Thursday it expected demand for its oil to fall in 2020, supporting a view among market participants that there is a case for the group and other producers like Russia, OPEC+, to maintain limits on production that were introduced to cope with a supply glut.

OPEC and its allies are expected to discuss output policy at a meeting on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna. Their existing production deal runs until March.

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