Saudi Arabia to cut oil exports in April

Saudi Arabia’s reduction in crude oil exports comes as part of output cuts by OPEC to support prices and rebalance the market. Getty Images. (Getty Images)
Updated 12 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia to cut oil exports in April

  • State-owned Saudi Aramco’s oil allocations for April are 635,000 bpd below customers’ nominations, which are the requests made by refiners and clients for Saudi crude
  • Oil prices have been supported this year by output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), while keeping its output well below 10 million bpd, a Saudi official said on Monday, as the Kingdom seeks to drain a supply glut and support oil prices.
State-owned Saudi Aramco’s oil allocations for April are 635,000 bpd below customers’ nominations, which are the requests made by refiners and clients for Saudi crude, the official said.
“Despite very strong demand from international waterborne customers at more than 7.6 million bpd, customers were allocated less than 7 million bpd,” the official said, adding that Saudi exports in March would also be below 7 million bpd.
Oil prices have been supported this year by output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. US sanctions on the oil industries of OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have also tightened supplies.
Benchmark Brent climbed above $66 a barrel on Monday, helped by comments by Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih that an end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June and a report showed a fall in US drilling activity.
April allocations by Aramco show “a deep cut of 635,000 bpd from customer requests for its crude oil,” the Saudi official said.
“This will keep production well below 10 million bpd in April,” the official said, adding that this was also below the 10.311 million bpd that the Kingdom had agreed as its production target under the OPEC-led deal on cutting supplies.
OPEC, Russia and other producers, known as OPEC+, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 for six months.
“Saudi Arabia is demonstrating extraordinary commitment to accelerating market rebalancing,” the official said, adding that the Kingdom expected other OPEC+ countries to show similar levels of contributions and high conformity to agreed cuts.
The Saudi energy minister said on Sunday that March oil output was 9.8 million bpd and the country — OPEC’s biggest producer — planned to keep its April output at the same level.
Saudi Arabia’s oil production in February fell to 10.136 million bpd, a Saudi industry source said on Friday, down from 10.24 million bpd in January.
Saudi crude exports to the US market have slowed in past weeks, according to the International Energy Agency, while Asia’s crude demand is set to drop in the second quarter due to seasonal refinery maintenance which would limit supply.


German firm wins mega order to build olive oil mill in Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 March 2019
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German firm wins mega order to build olive oil mill in Saudi Arabia

  • Scope of project, located in Al-Jouf, expected to encompass 5 million olive trees
  • Saudi Arabia investing heavily in developing domestic food industry

Arab News LONDON: A German company has won an order to build a massive olive oil mill in Saudi Arabia that will be the largest in Asia.
GEA won the order from The National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC), one of the largest agricultural and food-processing companies in the Middle East.
The scope of the project, located in the region of Al-Jouf, is expected to encompass 5 million olive trees from a single farm of 3,000 hectares, GEA said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Once the construction process is completed, this facility will be largest and most modern olive oil mill in Asia,” said Rafael Cárdenas, head of the Center of Excellence for Olive Oil at GEA.
Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, are investing heavily in developing their domestic food industries in an effort to reduce their reliance on imports and boost their food security.
The contract to build the Al-Jouf olive oil mill is the second phase of an ongoing project and will enlarge the existing olive oil plant that was built in 2016.
Al-Jouf Agriculture Development Company is the largest modern olive farm in the world.