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Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports jumped to 8.258 million bpd in November 2016 from 7.636 million bpd in October, according to data by the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) published on Thursday.
Saudi crude oil production for November was also very high, at 10.720 million bpd, compared to 10.625 million bpd for October, according to data the single countries report to JODI.
Saudi Arabia reported the same production figures to OPEC for November and for October, the two months leading to the November 30 meeting at which the cartel reached a deal to cut back oil supply in an effort to bring markets to balance and lift crude prices.
OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report from yesterday is updated with production figures up to and including December 2016, which show that Saudi Arabia self-reported production of 10.465 million bpd for the last month of 2016.
OPEC, however, is using the production estimates based on secondary sources to report production, and it used the secondary-source data as a baseline for each member’s production cut in the deal.
According to secondary sources, Saudi Arabia pumped 10.474 million bpd in December, a figure much closer to the figure the Saudis themselves had reported for December. The kingdom’s self-reported production figure for November of 10.720 million bpd, for example, compares to 10.623 million bpd estimated by secondary sources.
Still, the real test for Saudi Arabia and OPEC will be the production figures after the deal entered into force on January 1. They won’t be available until February, so until then, the market and analysts will only be able to look for signs and statements, and calculate probable percentages of compliance to the deal. Chances are that there will be at least some cheating—no one really thinks that everyone will play along with their promised cuts.
Saudi Arabia, which had agreed to cut 486,000 bpd to 10.058 million bpd as part of the deal, said last week that it had cut even more, to below 10 million bpd.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.