Saudi Arabia to cut oil exports in April

Saudi Arabia’s reduction in crude oil exports comes as part of output cuts by OPEC to support prices and rebalance the market. Getty Images. (Getty Images)
Updated 12 March 2019
0

Saudi Arabia to cut oil exports in April

  • State-owned Saudi Aramco’s oil allocations for April are 635,000 bpd below customers’ nominations, which are the requests made by refiners and clients for Saudi crude
  • Oil prices have been supported this year by output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), while keeping its output well below 10 million bpd, a Saudi official said on Monday, as the Kingdom seeks to drain a supply glut and support oil prices.
State-owned Saudi Aramco’s oil allocations for April are 635,000 bpd below customers’ nominations, which are the requests made by refiners and clients for Saudi crude, the official said.
“Despite very strong demand from international waterborne customers at more than 7.6 million bpd, customers were allocated less than 7 million bpd,” the official said, adding that Saudi exports in March would also be below 7 million bpd.
Oil prices have been supported this year by output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. US sanctions on the oil industries of OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have also tightened supplies.
Benchmark Brent climbed above $66 a barrel on Monday, helped by comments by Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih that an end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June and a report showed a fall in US drilling activity.
April allocations by Aramco show “a deep cut of 635,000 bpd from customer requests for its crude oil,” the Saudi official said.
“This will keep production well below 10 million bpd in April,” the official said, adding that this was also below the 10.311 million bpd that the Kingdom had agreed as its production target under the OPEC-led deal on cutting supplies.
OPEC, Russia and other producers, known as OPEC+, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 for six months.
“Saudi Arabia is demonstrating extraordinary commitment to accelerating market rebalancing,” the official said, adding that the Kingdom expected other OPEC+ countries to show similar levels of contributions and high conformity to agreed cuts.
The Saudi energy minister said on Sunday that March oil output was 9.8 million bpd and the country — OPEC’s biggest producer — planned to keep its April output at the same level.
Saudi Arabia’s oil production in February fell to 10.136 million bpd, a Saudi industry source said on Friday, down from 10.24 million bpd in January.
Saudi crude exports to the US market have slowed in past weeks, according to the International Energy Agency, while Asia’s crude demand is set to drop in the second quarter due to seasonal refinery maintenance which would limit supply.


China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia up 43%

Updated 16 min 57 sec ago
0

China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia up 43%

  • Imports grew to 1.53 million barrels per day compared with 1.07 million a year ago
  • Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s top state-owned refiners, are halting Iranian oil purchases for loading in May, three people with knowledge of the matter said

BEIJING: China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 43 percent in April, making the Middle Eastern OPEC kingpin once again the top supplier to the world’s second-biggest economy, boosted by demand from new private refiners.
Saudi imports grew to 6.30 million tons, or 1.53 million barrels per day (bpd) on a daily basis, compared with 1.07 million bpd in the year ago period, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday.
Saudi shipments were supported by higher refinery run rates at Hengli Petrochemical Co. Ltd, with production at the 400,000 bpd-capacity refinery in northeast China expected to reach optimal levels in late June. About 70 percent of the feedstock for Hengli came from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile Russian supplies were 6.12 million tons, or 1.49 million bpd, up from 1.35 million bpd in April last year.
China in April imported 3.24 million tons of crude oil from Iran, or 789,137 bpd, up from March’s 541,100 bpd, as companies ramped up buying before the scrapping of sanctions waivers the US had granted to big buyers of Iranian oil.
China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the country’s top state-owned refiners, are halting Iranian oil purchases for loading in May, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Venezuela shipments stood at 1.9 million tons, or 462,813 bpd in April, up 85 percent versus 249,700 bpd in March, while crude imports from Iraq were 3.31 million tons, or 806,372 bpd, down from 904,500 bpd the previous month.