Saudi Aramco last week claimed that it was set to not only ship record volumes of crude to China in 2019, but to usurp Russia as top supplier (MEES, 23 November). Term shipments will hit 1.67mn b/d on the back of five crude supply deals signed earlier this month which “make it very likely that Saudi Arabia next year will become China’s largest supplier, a position it held from 2006 to 2016,” Aramco says.

Leaving aside the fact that Russia had already overtaken Saudi Arabia as top supplier to China in 2016, such claims ring hollow given that Russia has extended its lead to a whopping 360,000 b/d for the first ten months of 2018 with 1.4mn b/d supplies. (CONTINUED - 1897 WORDS)