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Tsvetana Paraskova

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Saudis Boosted Oil Production To 10.424 Million Bpd In August

Saudi Arabia will report to OPEC that its crude oil production in August averaged 10.424 million bpd, up from the July levels, S&P Global Platts reported on Friday, quoting an OPEC source.

Saudi Arabia supplied 10.467 million bpd to the market in August, the source said, which points to the Saudis drawing on stored oil to supply more crude to the market than it pumped.

The Saudi production number for August would be 136,000 bpd higher than Saudi Arabia’s self-reported figure for July—10.288 million bpd, and according to Platts’ source, the August production reflected customer demand for Saudi crude.

Despite its pledge to boost crude oil supply to offset supply disruptions, Saudi Arabia’s oil production in July slipped by 52,800 bpd from June to average 10.387 million bpd, according to the secondary sources in OPEC’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report.

The Saudis themselves reported an even lower production number, at 10.288 million bpd, Saudi Arabia self-reported to OPEC that its crude oil production dropped by 200,500 bpd from the production it had reported for June.

Before the OPEC data for July was out, there were contradicting numbers about Saudi oil production, with many polls predicting that OPEC’s biggest producer had likely pumped at near record-high levels, while Saudi and OPEC sources claimed that production actually dropped and was nowhere close to records. Analysts have said that one reason for the lower production in July was that Saudi Arabia didn’t see demand for its crude oil as high as it had expected earlier. Related: Oil Jumps On Bullish EIA Data

According to Platts’ source at OPEC on Friday, the lower Saudi production in July was also attributed to the temporary suspension—for more than a week through August 4—of Saudi crude cargo shipments via the Bab el Mandeb chokepoint in the Red Sea after a Houthi attack on two Saudi tankers near the port of Hodeidah.

Official OPEC figures for August production are due out on September 12 in the next MOMR.

This week, OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) found that OPEC and its non-OPEC partners in the production cut deal achieved 109 percent compliance in July, compared to 121 percent in June, meaning that they have been boosting production to reach their goal of easing compliance rates (cuts) and reach 100 percent compliance. The next meeting of the monitoring panel will take place in Algiers on September 23, at which the committee “will review the plan for monitoring overall market fundamentals and conformity levels for the remainder of 2018, as well as the framework of cooperation to be established in 2019 and beyond,” OPEC said on Thursday.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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