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Saudi oil exports drop as demand declines

What's Down: Saudi crude oil exports fell by 124,000 barrels per day to 7.154 million bpd in November, according to official data published by the Joint Data Initiative yesterday.

Saudi crude oil exports fell by 124,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 7.154 million bpd in November, according to official data published by the Joint Data Initiative (Jodi) yesterday.

The world's top crude oil exporter cut its production by 232,000 bpd from October to 9.492 million bpd in November, largely because of a 232,000 bpd drop in Saudi oil use for power generation and lower demand abroad.

Offsetting the fall in Saudi electricity sector demand, its refinery intake rose by 53,000 bpd month on month, while the kingdom put an average of 193,866 bpd of crude into storage, Jodi figures show.

Official figures for December exports will not be published by Jodi until the middle of next month, but Saudi Arabia has told Opec it cut production by 467,000 bpd to 9.025 million bpd in December. Export and internal power demand figures published yesterday support a Saudi oil official's claims that some of the reduction in production late last year was a result of lower seasonal demand in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi production in December was more than 1 million barrels below its peak production last summer, when the kingdom's own oil use rises. But the 700,000 bpd drop in Saudi crude production over the final two months of 2012 also reflects weaker demand abroad.

* Reuters

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