Saudi crude oil burning in power plants is on track to decline annually for the first time since 2013. While some of the reduced direct crude burn can be attributed to increased gas availability, total crude plus fuel oil consumption is down only slightly this year – 999,000 b/d for January-October 2016 compared with just over 1mn b/d for the same period of 2015 – as increased volumes of heavy fuel oil are being burned in place of crude.

Saudi direct crude burn will average 493,000 b/d for 2016, according to a MEES forecast based on data provided by Saudi Aramco to the Riyadh-based Joint Organizations Data Initiative (Jodi). This represents a decline of almost 14% from the 2015 average direct crude burn of 572,000 b/d. The latest Jodi data shows that Saudi direct crude burn has averaged 526,000 b/d in the first 10 months of 2016, a fall of 12% compared with 598,000 b/d for the same period last year (see p11). (CONTINUED - 622 WORDS)