BEIRUT, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rose to 7.812 million barrels per day (bpd) in September as the world’s top oil exporter increased shipments by 507,000 bpd versus August, official data showed on Thursday.
“The exports figures suggest that they will not give up a critical card that they are going to use in the OPEC negotiations to freeze or reduce OPEC production before they reach such an agreement at the November meeting,” said Sadad al-Husseini, an energy consultant and former Saudi Aramco senior executive.
OPEC is in talks with major non-OPEC producers in a bid to gain support for a global deal agreed on September to limit supply and help to balance the market.
Saudi Arabia produced 10.650 million bpd in September, little changed from August’s 10.63 million bpd, JODI said.
Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members provide monthly data to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) which publishes it on its website.
Riyadh has maintained high output levels since mid-2014 aiming to defend market share against rival producers.
Cooling temperatures in September reduced demand for air conditioning resulting in Saudi Arabia’s own crude oil use falling to 490,000 bpd from 739,000 bpd in August.
That was down from 744,000 bpd a year earlier, reflecting the kingdom’s efforts to boost energy efficiency and gas use.
“Although, the kingdom’s production was steady, domestic use for power generation and desalination went down and exports went up,” Husseini said.
Domestic refinery throughput fell by 174,000 bpd from August to 2.426 million bpd in September, the JODI data showed.
Exports of oil products slipped by 21,000 bpd to 1.349 million bpd. Domestic demand for oil products fell by 407,000 bpd to 2.518 million bpd.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil stocks fell by 2.322 million barrels to 278.688 million in September, JODI said.
OPEC agreed on Sept. 28 to reduce output to a range of 32.50 to 33 million bpd in its first output cut since the 2008 financial crisis.
OPEC’s crude oil output averaged 33.64 million bpd in October, OPEC reported, citing secondary sources.
Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; editing by Jason Neely