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Saudi oil exports fall to three-year low as refiners process lofty volumes

07.18.2014  | 

Saudi Arabia shipped the least crude in almost three years in May as domestic refineries processed record amounts and power plants also increased consumption.



Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, shipped the least crude in almost three years in May as domestic refineries processed record amounts and power plants also increased consumption, official data showed.

The nation exported 6.99 million bpd in May, down from 7.45 million bbl a month earlier, according to data Saudi Arabia submits to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative in Riyadh. The shipments were the smallest since September 2011. Crude production rose to 9.71 million bpd from 9.66 million in April.

Saudi Arabian refiners processed 2.14 million bpd of crude in May, the highest since at least January 2002, the year when JODI started collecting data from member governments. Crude processing in May went up from 1.85 million bpd in April, the data showed.

“The record refining volume shows that Saudi Arabia is fulfilling its plans to become a major downstream player,” said Julian Lee, a Bloomberg oil strategist in London who writes for First Word and whose observations are his own. 

The nation’s 400,000-bpd Jubail refinery is running at about 80% of capacity and a new Yanbu plant of the same size should start operations before the end of the year, he said.

Saudi power plants burned 680,000 bpd compared with 484,000 bbl in April, and 547,000 bbl a year ago. May crude burning was at highest level since August 2013, JODI showed.

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Jaime Barcena -México-

What was the true cause of Saudi Arabia lowering crude oil shipped export ??. Did Saudi Arabia reduce its crude oil production or lower its sales???
Issuance of Saudi Arabia crude oil statistics data is very useful; but such figures do not reveal what is happening there really ... Does US shale oil international sales has made such negative effect on Saudi Arabia market activity??. Or Russian Crimea crude oil production and sales has some effect there??

Hugo Ruadez

It seems like smart move. Almost anyone, exageration, of course, has oil to produce, but very few have the refinery capability or capacity to produce gasoline, which is the real needed product to move cars, at least for now. Regards

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