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Saudi Arabia exported crude oil worth some $40 billion during the first quarter of the year, down by 21.9 percent, or $11 billion, on the first quarter of 2019, Reuters reports, adding that Brent crude fell by as much as 60 percent in the three-month period.
Oil revenue, as a result, slid down by 24 percent to $34 billion during the quarter, official data showed.
The Kingdom has been one of the most active producers in trying to rein in the oil price slide that undermined oil export revenues. The country agreed to cut a solid portion of its daily output to help stabilize prices and then it announced an additional 1-million-bpd production cut on top of the quota agreed with its OPEC+ partners.
Saudi Arabia was also the driving force behind the one-month extension of the deepest cuts—of 9.7 million bpd—that OPEC+ agreed last Saturday. The Kingdom also put its foot down on non-compliance, insisting that laggards Iraq and Nigeria, as well as Angola and Kazakhstan, effect deeper production cuts to compensate for their non-compliance so far.
The Kingdom also earlier this year cut its official selling prices by the most in three decades to stimulate buying. Now, with oil prices on the mend, Saudi Arabia has hiked its OSP for Asian buyers just as sharply, almost erasing the discount it offered buyers during the height of the crisis.
The latest oil import data from China—the world’s largest importer of crude—has been encouraging but if prices rise, imports may start falling. After all, Chinese oil traders and refiners had three months to stock up on supercheap oil. The price hike, according to a Bloomberg report, has also worried European refiners, who are still struggling with the fallout of the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, which hurt them as much as they hurt upstream businesses.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.