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Saudi Arabia Cut Oil Output, Exports in December, JODI Says

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest crude producer, reduced oil output and exports in December from November when it produced the most in more than 30 years, according to the Joint Organization Data Initiative.

The country reduced output by 237,000 barrels a day or 2.4 percent to 9.81 million barrels a day of crude compared with 10.047 million in November, statistics posted today on JODI’s website show. The kingdom’s exports were cut 7.36 million barrels a day from 7.8 million barrels, according to the figures, which include condensates and exclude natural-gas liquids.

The initiative is supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum and compiles data provided by member governments.

Saudi Arabia’s crude-oil consumption fell by 5.9 percent in December from the previous month, according to JODI. The world’s largest exporter of crude used an average of 1.73 million barrels a day of oil in December, compared with 1.84 million barrels in November. The kingdom’s oil consumption has grown at an average of 4.8 percent a year in the past five years, Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment Co., said in December.

OPEC’s Spare Capacity

The figures Saudi Arabia’s government submitted to JODI for December’s crude oil output were close to those estimated by the International Energy Agency. The IEA said in its January monthly report that Saudi output was pegged at 9.85 million barrels a day. The IEA estimated January’s output for Saudi Arabia to be the same as December’s. The Paris-based agency estimated Saudi Arabia’s spare capacity for December at 2.15 million barrels a day, which makes about 75 percent of OPEC’s effective spare capacity during the month.

Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said at December’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna that Saudi output increased because there was no excess supply in world crude markets and that his nation had been adjusting output to match fluctuating demand of recent months.

The IEF is a group of nations accounting for more than 90 percent of global oil and gas supply and demand, established as a forum for producing and consuming countries to discuss international energy security.

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