Saudi crude exports as a percentage of overall production fell to the lowest level since late-2017 in February. Crude exports fell below 7mn b/d for the first time since May 2018, and as a proportion of production fell below 69% for the first time since October 2017 according to the latest Jodi data (MEES, 19 April).
The kingdom is instead prioritizing maintaining high refinery run rates and products exports. Q1 refining runs look to have run 4Q 2018’s record high of 2.78mn b/d close although maintainance in March at the 245,000 b/d Yanbu refinery will have an impact. Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in expanding and upgrading its refining capacity, which currently stands at 2.86mn b/d, in recent years and is now reaping the benefits of moving up the value chain. (CONTINUED - 413 WORDS)