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Saudi Crude Oil Exports Drop To 2-Year Low In September

Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports dipped to a 22-month low of 6.67 million bpd in September, when the Kingdom was hit by attacks on its oil infrastructure that knocked 5 percent of global daily supply offline for weeks.

According to data released on Monday by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) database, which collects self-reported figures from 114 countries, Saudi crude oil exports in September declined by 211,000 bpd from August.

After the attacks on September 14, Saudi officials reassured the oil market that not a single oil shipment to customers would be skipped, although the Kingdom has reportedly offered to ship some customers  different crude grades from what they had nominated.   

Due to the attack on Saudi oil, OPEC’s total production slumped by 1.318 million bpd from August to 28.491 million bpd in September. This was the steepest month on month drop in OPEC’s production in more than a decade and a half.

According to OPEC’s secondary sources, production in Saudi Arabia plunged by 1.28 million bpd to 8.564 million bpd in September. The Saudis, however, self-reported to OPEC that production was down by just 660,000 bpd in September from August, at 9.129 million bpd.

In October, Saudi Arabia’s production recovered, according to OPEC’s official figures released last week. OPEC’s crude oil production jumped by nearly 1 million bpd in October compared to September after top producer Saudi Arabia recovered from the mid-September attacks on its oil infrastructure, more than offsetting losses in restive Ecuador and trying-to-comply Iraq and Nigeria. Saudi Arabia boosted production by 1.094 million bpd from September to 9.890 million bpd in October, and it is still

overcomplying with its share of the cuts by more than 400,000 bpd.

While the Saudis restored production to pre-attack levels, they have been cutting total exports to below the 7-million-bpd mark for several months, trying to reduce supply to the most transparently reported inventories in the U.S., while keeping—and where possible boosting—their market share in Asia.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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