Kingdom’s oil exports rise to 7.62 mbd in July

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ABU DHABI: Saudi Arabia’s oil exports rose in July as the Kingdom pumped record high levels of crude, keeping the global market well supplied.

Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports in July rose to 7.622 million barrels per day from 7.456 million bpd in June, official data showed on Monday. The Kingdom produced a record high 10.673 million bpd in July, up from 10.550 million bpd in June with the increase due to summer demand and requests from customers. However, its output slipped in August to 10.63 million bpd, industry sources have said. Export data for August is not yet available. Several members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have called for an output freeze to rein in an oil glut that triggered a price collapse in the last two years, hitting the revenues of major producers.

In the past, analysts have persistently discounted the possibility that some of the OPEC members will agree to production curbs as they protected market share, but some analysts have become more hopeful an agreement can be reached. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that OPEC and other major oil producers were close to reaching a deal on price stability that could be announced later this month. Saudi Arabia’s domestic crude inventories totaled 281.463 million barrels in July, down from 289.445 million in June, data provided by the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed. JODI compiles data supplied from oil-producing members of global organizations including the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Saudi Arabia’s oil inventories peaked last October at a record high 329.430 million barrels but have declined since as the country has drawn down its stockpile to meet domestic demand without impacting its exports. As it expands oil product exports, the Kingdom has been feeding more crude to domestic refineries.

Domestic refineries processed 2.611 million bpd of crude in July, up from 2.381 million in June. Exports of refined oil products in July totaled 1.367 million bpd versus 1.371 million in June. 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 July, crude oil used to generate power fell to 697,000 bpd from 704,000 bpd in June, the JODI data showed. World oil prices rebounded Monday. At about 1645 GMT, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November won 51 cents to $46.28 a barrel compared with Friday’s closing level. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October added 59 cents to $43.62 a barrel. “The price of oil rose amid a backdrop of US-dollar weakness and speculation surrounding an output freeze at this month’s producer meeting in Algiers,” said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

“Oil prices have risen so far today, with the market for Brent jumping higher… after comments from Venezuela’s president over the weekend,” said analyst David Cheetham at brokerage XTB. Oil had fallen last week on supply glut woes. New York crude had shed 6.6 percent in value and Brent fell 4.5 percent. Crude has been dogged by a stubborn supply glut since late 2014, with prices hitting near 13-year lows at the start of this year. Traders are also eyeing a US Federal Reserve policy meeting this week for fresh clues about the state of the world’s top economy and some guidance on its plans for interest rates.

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