Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports inched up in November from October to reach a five-month high, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday.
Crude oil exports from the world’s top crude exporter rose by 39,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 6.34 million in November, up from October’s 6.3 million bpd level, according to the latest available data in JODI, which compiles self-reported data from many countries.
Yet, Saudi crude oil production fell in November by 122,000 bpd to 8.82 million bpd—the lowest level so far for 2023, per the data in JODI, as the Kingdom continues to cut production as part of the OPEC+ agreement and reduces voluntarily output by an extra 1 million bpd.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production in November was below the five-year average range for the period 2018 through 2022, the data showed.
The volume of direct burn of crude fell slightly in November, and so did refinery runs, according to JODI.
Saudi crude oil and oil products closing stocks fell by 4.05 million barrels to 230.4 million barrels in November. Of these, product inventories dropped by 4.19 million barrels, while crude inventories increased by 140,000 barrels.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and exports in early 2024 are expected to be around the levels reported in the most recent JODI datasets as the Kingdom has pledged to continue its voluntary production cut of 1 million bpd by the end of the first quarter of the year.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said at the end of 2023 that the OPEC+ production cuts could extend beyond March 2024 if the market requires it. The Saudi energy minister also criticized in early December commentators for failing to understand the group’s output agreement and suggested that this would change once “people see the reality of the deal.”
By Charles Kennedy for OIlprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com