Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports dropped to 8.014 million barrels per day (bpd), while crude oil production remained high but dropped by 255,000 bpd to 10.465 million bpd in December, official data showed on Monday.
The kingdom’s exports in November rose sharply to 8.258 million barrels per day due to a drop in refinery throughput.
Saudi Arabia had maintained high output levels since mid-2014, aiming to defend market share against rival producers.
But Riyadh led OPEC and other rival producers in December to reach their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output and ease a global glut which had strained many producers’ budgets.
Saudi Arabia’s domestic crude inventories fell 1.745 million barrels to 272.621 million barrels in December, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
Saudi Arabia’s oil inventories peaked in October 2015 at a record high 329.430 million barrels and have declined since as the country has drawn down its oil stockpile to meet domestic demand without impacting exports.
Domestic refineries processed 2.155 million bpd, down from 2.184 million bpd in November. Exports of refined oil products in December fell to 1.136 million bpd from 1.226 million bpd in November.
State oil firm Saudi Aramco has stakes in more than 5 million bpd of refining capacity at home and abroad, placing it among the global leaders in making oil products.
In December, Saudi Arabia used 353,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power, a marginal change from 352,000 bpd in November as cooling temperatures reduced demand for air conditioning. Its demand for oil products rose 0.046 million bpd to 2.21 million bpd.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to the JODI, which published them on its website.