Saudi Crude Exports for 2012 Rise to 7-Year High, JODI Says

Saudi Arabia boosted its average crude oil exports last year to the highest level since 2005, while Iraq and Kuwait shipped the most in at least a decade, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.

Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, exported 7.41 million barrels a day on average in 2012, up 5.2 percent from 2011, according to Bloomberg calculations based on monthly data from the initiative. Last year’s shipments were the highest since the kingdom’s exports averaged 7.47 million a day in 2005, the data showed.

The latest monthly tally by JODI showed Saudi crude exports falling to 7.06 million barrels a day in December, the least since September 2011.

Iraq, OPEC’s second biggest-producer, shipped 2.43 million barrels a day on average last year, while Kuwait’s exports averaged 2.07 million a day, the data posted yesterday on the initiative’s website showed. These were the highest annual averages for both producers since the initiative, known as JODI, began compiling the figures in 2002.

Saudi Arabia increased shipments last year to make up for reduced supply from Libya and Iran. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in Australia last May that he wanted to see the price for Brent crude at about $100 a barrel. Brent, a benchmark for more than half the world’s crude, is trading today in London at $117.61 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia increased crude burning to generate electricity last year even as it boosted gas production with supplies from new fields and it tripled imports of fuel oil that it uses to fire power plants, the data showed.

The country burned 528,000 barrels a day of crude oil on average between January and December compared to 522,000 barrels a year earlier. It imported 60,000 barrels a day of fuel oil on average last year, the highest in a decade, and 158 percent more than in the previous year, the data showed.

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 oil and condensates and exclude natural gas liquids.

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