Saudi Arabia Keeps Oil Exports Stable as Iraq Raises, JODI Says

Saudi Arabian crude exports were little changed in October from the previous month, while Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, raised shipments by 4.1 percent, according to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative.

The kingdom, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, shipped 7.278 million barrels a day while keeping its output unchanged from September at 9.72 million a day. Iraq exported 2.71 million barrels a day even as it lowered its output by 3.1 percent, data posted today on the website of the initiative showed.

“Iraq wants every penny it can get, while the objective of Saudis is to stabilize the market,” Anas Alhajji, chief economist at NGP Energy Capital Management LLC in Irving, Texas, said by e-mail.

OPEC members are producing by about one million barrels over the 30 million barrel-a-day ceiling the group agreed to maintain at their meeting this month in Vienna. Iraq, which plans to boost output to an average 3.7 million barrels a day in 2013, is not planning to cut production, according to officials from the Middle Eastern state. Iraq’s crude output surged 650,000 barrels a day this year to 3.35 million, the biggest annual gain in 14 years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Crude sales from Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, surged the most among OPEC nations in October, followed by the United Arab Emirates, according to the initiative known as JODI. Angola’s exports rose 9.9 percent to 1.71 million barrels a day, it showed. The U.A.E. shipped 2.48 million barrels up by 6.2 percent. Venezuela cut exports by 8.3 percent to 1.69 million barrels, the data show.

Burning Crude

Saudi Arabia increased fuel oil imports and burned more crude for power generation and water desalination in October from a year earlier, JODI data show.

The world’s largest crude exporter consumed 599,000 barrels a day during the month, 32 percent more than a year ago, the data showed. Fuel oil imports rose 25 percent to 57,000 barrels a day. Refineries in the kingdom processed 1.73 million barrels a day in October, 41,000 barrels a day more than the previous month, according to the initiative.

The kingdom imported 164,000 barrels of fuel oil a day in September, the highest monthly figure since January 2002, Jodi data show.

“Oil production does not matter anymore, oil exports do not matter anymore, only net exports matter,” said Alhajji. “Increasing demand for electricity and power shortages in the oil-producing countries will continue to cast their shadow on the global oil market for years to come.”

JODI, supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum, uses statistics supplied by national governments to compile data on production, imports and exports for oil-producing and consuming nations. The data include crude and condensates and exclude natural gas liquids.

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