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Saudi Crude Output, Exports Rise in April vs. March

Middle East : 21 June 2013

Source: Dow Jones Newswires

Oil production in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude, rose to 9.310 million barrels a day in April, compared with 9.136 million barrels a day a month earlier, while exports edged 0.3% higher during the same period, official data showed Wednesday.

The kingdom exported 7.444 million barrels a day of crude oil and condensate in April, up from 7.420 million barrels a day in March, according to figures posted on the Joint Organization Data Initiative, or JODI, website.

JODI is supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum and shows data supplied directly by governments dating back to 2002.

Saudi Arabia used 378,000 barrels a day in power stations and water-desalination plants in April, down from the 441,000 barrels a day during the corresponding period in 2012 but up from the 368,000 barrels a day consumed a month earlier.

Saudi Arabia cut oil production by close to 5% in December in response to lower demand–chiefly from Asian customers, its deepest production cut in almost three years.

It has repeatedly stated its commitment to meet all requests for oil from customers.

In May the kingdom raised production by 3% to 9.6 million barrels a day from a month earlier on the back of higher demand. Supplies to the market increased to 9.6 million barrels per day from 9.16 million barrels per day in April, people close to the Saudis’ thinking said earlier this month.

The kingdom’s largest unlisted lender, National Commercial Bank, said in a note that the state’s average crude production may fall by 400,000 barrels a day in 2013 as it curbs supply to meet the OPEC’s output target. It is expected to produce around 9.5 million barrels a day on average this year, compared with 9.92 million barrels a day in 2012, the Jeddah-based bank said.

Last month OPEC kept its oil production ceiling at 30 million barrels a day in a widely expected move that members described as an easy decision. But concerns about the growing threat from shale oil overshadowed the group’s otherwise smooth meeting.

U.S. oil production has risen to a 21-year high on the back of oil unearthed from shale rock formations beneath the plains of Texas and North Dakota.

OPEC’s own analysts forecast that demand for its oil will fall by 400,000 barrels a day this year.

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