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Saudi Arabia Said to Supply Full January Crude Volumes to Asia

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest state-owned exporter, will supply full contracted crude volumes to Asian buyers in January, according to four regional refiners who received notification from the producer.

Saudi Aramco, as the company is known, will provide 100 percent of supplies sold under long-term contracts for a 26th month, according to the refiners in South Korea, Japan and China, who declined to be identified because of confidentiality agreements with the Dhahran-based seller. Aramco officials in Tokyo and Beijing were not available for comment when contacted by phone and e-mail today.

Crude shipments from Saudi Arabia to the Asia-Pacific region were 4.26 million barrels a day in 2010, or about 64 percent of total exports, according to OPEC’s annual statistical bulletin. The country raised crude output to more than 10 million barrels a day last month in response to customer demand, Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said Dec. 6.

While Saudi Aramco has the option to reduce monthly sales volumes to term buyers, the largest Mideast producer has not done so for more than two years.

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