Saudi Maxes Out Refineries Despite Crude Output Cuts

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)