Oil & Gas

11 Mar 2021

Saudi Oil Exports Holding Strong Despite Production Cut Commitment

11 Mar 2021  by Julianne Geiger   

Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell just slightly in February, in stark contrast to the bold voluntary production cuts that the Kingdom had offered to make.

Saudi Arabia had shocked the oil markets when it voluntarily offered to withhold an additional million barrels of oil production per day from the market in addition to what it was already tasked with cutting as part of the OPEC+ group. It vowed to continue those cuts through April.

But data shows that Saudi Arabia’s amibitious commitment to cut an extra million barrels per day hasn’t spilled over into exports. According to PetroLogistics, Saudi Arabia’s February exports likely fell by just 300,000 bpd.

Kpler’s estimates are even more disappointing. Their data shows that Saudi’s oil exports fell by 194,000 bpd, while domestic inventories shrunk by 119,000 bpd. According to Kpler, however, Saudi Arabia’s exports toward the end of February were lower than at the beginning.

Saudi’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud was asked after the last OPEC+ meeting last week if he would comment on reports that the country had not fulfilled its voluntary cuts as promised. The Energy Minister refused to answer since the cut was voluntary and not part of an OPEC+ commitment, according to Reuters, adding that “we are trustworthy people.”

While the market is not fully seeing Saudi Arabia’s million barrels per day taken off the global market, the market certainly is enjoying the after-effects of Saudi Arabia’s commitment not only to cut an additional million barrels per day but to keep doing so through April. The price of a Brent barrel has surged $8 since February and is now trading at more than $68 per barrel.

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