Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports dropped by about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January, official data showed on Monday, as the top OPEC producer played its part in a global supply-cut pact to support prices and ease a glut.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports in January fell to 7.713 million bpd from 8.014 million bpd in December, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
The world’s largest oil exporter pumped 9.748 million bpd in January, in line with its OPEC output target, down from 10.465 million bpd in December.
Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih has said the kingdom will adhere strictly to its commitment to cut output and that state oil giant Saudi Aramco was cutting exports.
Riyadh led OPEC and other producers in December to reach their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output and prop up weak oil prices which had strained many producers’ budgets.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is curbing its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1, the group’s first reduction in eight years. Russia and 10 other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut half as much.
Saudi Arabia’s domestic crude inventories fell further to 261.963 million barrels in January from 272.621 million barrels in December, the JODI data showed.
Domestic oil inventories peaked in October 2015 at a record high 329.430 million barrels and have declined since as the kingdom has drawn down its oil stockpile to meet domestic demand without impacting exports as it expands its refining power.
Local refineries processed 2.127 million bpd, down from 2.155 million bpd in December. Exports of refined oil products in January rose slightly to 1.154 million bpd from 1.136 million bpd the month before.
In January, Saudi Arabia used 252,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power, a fall from 353,000 bpd in December as cooling temperatures reduced demand for air conditioning.
The kingdom has raised domestic energy prices and is using more natural gas in power stations which would likely reduce the amount of oil it burns to generate power this summer, industry sources told Reuters.
Saudi’s demand for oil products declined to 1.959 million bpd in January to from 2.21 million bpd the month before.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of OPEC to JODI, which published them on its website.