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Saudi Arabia’s official production figure for October was 10.276mn b/d, up 50,000 b/d on September and the eighth straight month of over 10mn b/d. This rise surprised external observers who, based on shipping data that indicated lower tanker loadings, had expected a dip. Given that crude exports seem to have fallen in October, the higher production figure indicates refining runs rose again last month while unseasonably high crude burn continues.
Saudi Aramco’s high production has been tempered this summer by rising domestic demand, notably from new refineries. The latest Jodi data shows crude exports rallying to 7.11mn b/d in September despite record refinery runs, having dipped below 7mn b/d in May and August. Exports were 10% below their record 7.90mn b/d in March, when Aramco first pushed output above 10mn b/d.
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