Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports rose in February to their highest level since the record in April 2020 even as total supplies to the market dropped due to a reduction in direct use and refinery intake, according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.
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Crude exports rose to 7.307 million b/d in February, the highest since the record 10.237 million b/d, from 6.996 million b/d in January, the JODI data published April 18 showed. Production climbed to 10.225 million b/d from 10.145 million b/d.
As the OPEC+ alliance continues to raise its quotas, Saudi production is set to rise in the months ahead, and the kingdom remains under pressure from its key customers to hike output even faster, to offset the impact of western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war. So far, Saudi Arabia has demurred, wary of upsetting the OPEC partnership with Russia.
For February, Saudi Arabia has a production quota of 10.227 million b/d, rising to 10.331 million b/d in March and 10.436 million b/d in April -- and an eventual target of 11 million b/d, under the OPEC+ deal.
The alliance will next convene May 5 to decide on June quotas.
Still, Saudi Arabia's supplies to the market declined in February to 10.104 million b/d from 10.175 million b/d in January.
Saudi crude for direct use fell to 291,000 b/d from 402,000 b/d in January while refinery intake declined to 2.506 million b/d from 2.777 million b/d. Saudi Arabia's total exports of crude products rose to 1.695 million b/d from 1.416 million b/d over the same period.
Crude inventories stood at 137.149 million barrels in February, up from 133.742 million barrels in January.
The JODI figures are maintained by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum.