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Saudi Crude Output, Exports Rise in February vs January

Middle East : 19 April 2013

Source: Dow Jones Newswires

DUBAI–Oil production in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude, rose to 9.150 million barrels a day in February, compared with 9.050 million barrels a day a month earlier, while exports also increased 5.1% during the same period, official data showed late Wednesday.

The kingdom exported 7.454 million barrels a day of crude oil and condensate in February, up from 7.091 million barrels a day in January, 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 294,000 barrels a day in power stations and water-desalination plants in February, down from the 303,000 barrels a day used during the corresponding period in 2012, and the 318,000 barrels a day consumed a month earlier.

Saudi Arabia cut its oil production by close to 5% in December in response to lower demand chiefly from Asian customers, the kingdom’s deepest production cut in almost three years. The Arab world’s largest economy has since kept production steady at around 9 million barrels per day, but repeatedly stated its commitment to meet all requests for oil from customers.

Last month, the kingdom raised its crude production to 9.15 million barrels per day of crude oil from 9.05 million barrels per day in January, but its supplies to the market inched down to 9.16 million barrels per day, from 9.26 million barrels per day, sources close to the Saudi thinking said earlier this month.

Saudi Arabia’s largest unlisted lender, National Commercial Bank, said in a note last month that the Gulf state’s average crude production may fall by 400,000 barrels a day in 2013 as the Gulf state curbs supply to meet the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ 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.

OPEC decided to keep its oil-production ceiling unchanged in December, but gave no indication of whether it would do anything to reduce excess production, which runs about 1 million barrels a day over the level of supply the cartel expects the world will need from it this year. The group is set to meet again in Vienna on May 31.

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