Dubai — Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports plunged to the lowest on record in June and production fell to the lowest in 17 years as OPEC and its allies continued their campaign to tighten the market.
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Shipments dropped to 4.98 million b/d, the lowest since data started in January 2002, from 6.02 million b/d in May, according to data released Aug. 20 by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative, or JODI. The country pumped 7.484 million b/d in June, the lowest since December 2002, and down from 8.486 million b/d in May.
Saudi Arabia has led the 23-member OPEC+ coalition in cutting production since May after producing a record 12.007 million b/d in April, when countries could not agree on a pact. Its crude exports were also at an all-time high of 10.24 million b/d in April.
Saudi Arabia was not alone in cutting production in June. OPEC's 13 members pumped 22.31 million b/d, the organization's lowest collective output since September 1990, when the launch of the first Gulf War nearly wiped out crude oil production in Iraq and Kuwait, according to an S&P Global Platts survey. The drastic cuts demonstrate how urgently OPEC+ members, who depend greatly on oil revenues to fund their budgets, are striving to prevent another price collapse.
The OPEC+ coalition enacted a 9.7 million b/d production cut accord for May to July, after which they agreed to roll back the cuts to 7.7 million b/d.
Despite the drop in production, Saudi Arabia still managed to boost domestic crude stockpiles to 153.351 million barrels, a three-month high, from 147.56 million barrels in May.
The country's oil products exports dropped to 1.085 million b/d from May's 1.456 million b/d -- a 14-month high.
Oil products include LPG, naphtha, motor and aviation gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil. Refinery intake in June dropped to 1.842 million b/d from 1.929 million in May, the JODI data showed.
Saudi Arabia's direct use of crude burned for power generation climbed to an eight-month high at 469,000 b/d in June from 407,000 b/d in May. Demand from power generation typically climbs in summer for air conditioning when temperatures frequently soar above 40 C.
Combining the exports, refinery intake, and direct-use figures show that Saudi Arabia supplied 7.291 million b/d to the market in June, down from 8.356 million b/d in May.
The JODI database is maintained by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum.