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• Saudi refinery output has been held steady in the 2.1-2.2mn b/d range since mid-2014, up around 500,000 b/d on average 2013 levels (see graph) as Saudi Aramco and joint venture partners Total and Sinopec ramped up throughput at their respective Satorp and Yasref refineries.
• Product volumes delivered ‘through the refinery gate’ actually peaked at 2.44mn b/d in December 2013, when crude runs were only 2.06mn b/d, indicating the delivery of larger than usual volumes from storage. Products demand reached a new peak of 2.02mn b/d in December 2014, but fell to 1.87mn b/d in January.
• While fuel oil demand hit a peak of 635,000 b/d in December 2014, January’s 427,000 b/d was a record for that month, an indicator of underlying demand growth from power generators. Direct crude burn, meanwhile, has fallen away from a seasonal peak of 899,000 b/d in July to 276,000 b/d for January.
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