World's top crude oil exporter cut its production by 232,000 bpd from October
Saudi crude oil exports fell by 124,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 7.154m bpd in November, according to official data published by the Joint Data Initiative (JODI) on Sunday.
The world's top crude oil exporter cut its production by 232,000 bpd from October to 9.492m bpd in November, largely due to a 232,000 bpd drop in Saudi oil use for power generation and lower demand abroad.
Offsetting the fall in Saudi electricity sector demand, its refinery intake rose by 53,000 bpd month on month, while the kingdom put an average of 193,866 bpd of crude into storage, the latest JODI figures show.
Official figures for December exports will not be published by JODI until mid February, but Saudi Arabia has told OPEC it cut production by 467,000 bpd to 9.025m bpd in December.
Export and internal power demand figures published on Sunday support a Saudi oil official's claims that some of the reduction in production in late 2012 was a result of lower seasonal demand in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi production in December was more than 1m barrels below its peak production last summer, when the kingdom's own oil use rises because it burns oil to generate electricity to meet high air conditioning demand.
But the 700,000 bpd drop in Saudi crude production over the final two months of 2012 also reflects weaker demand abroad.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' monthly report published last week indicated world oil supply will comfortably outstrip demand in the first half of 2013.