Saudi Arabia’s oil exports rose to a seven-month high in November when it led OPEC to keep production unchanged as the largest crude shipper fought to keep market share with output rising from the U.S. to Russia.
Saudi Arabia’s oil exports rose to 7.3 million barrels a day from 6.9 million barrels in October, according to data yesterday on the website of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative. Crude stockpiles at the end of the month stood at 305.8 million barrels, the highest level since at least January 2002, figures on the group’s website showed.
Saudi Arabia dropped its official selling prices in Asia for November sales to gain market share in the fastest-growing region for petroleum demand while it helped domestic refiners to be profitable. Brent crude futures have dropped about 35 percent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries unexpectedly maintained its production target of 30 million barrels a day on Nov. 27.
“The Saudis are trying to test the market with both higher volumes and lower prices,” John Sfakianakis, head of Ashmore Middle East, said by phone from Riyadh. “They are flooding the market with exports and storage while keeping the price of their crude competitive. These are signs that they will do all what they can to keep up the market share.”
Brent oil dropped 0.3 percent to $50 a barrel by 8:16 a.m. in Dubai, extending the decline to 53 percent in the past year.
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