Saudi Crude Exports At 7-Year Low, Outweighing Products Gains

Saudi Arabia is leading by example within Opec when it comes to withholding crude oil from global markets in order to erode the stock overhang. The kingdom’s crude exports are set to fall to a seven-year low in 2017. And while this has been partially achieved by ramping up refining rates and thereby products exports, the total volume of liquids exported in 2017 is set to fall considerably.

The issue of how to monitor export volumes is likely to be a major topic of discussion at next week’s Opec meeting in Vienna, and the subsequent Opec and Non-Opec ministerial meeting – both on 30 November. But while Saudi Arabia’s actions on cutting exports mean it would favor improved monitoring, other Opec members are unlikely to be so supportive.

Opec’s #2 producer Iraq for instance has increased exports considerably year-on-year. Its official export statistics have volumes rising from 3.68mn b/d in Q3 2016 to 3.80mn b/d in the same period this year. Export volumes have fallen since Baghdad regained control over major fields in Kirkuk province from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in October. But while the suspension of output from these fields removed around 280,000 b/d of exports, Iraq is boosting southern exports by 200,000 b/d to mitigate ( MEES, 3 November ).


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