Waking up attacks, oil flows in the Middle East shrink

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, which together account for about three quarters of OPEC’s total output, shipped 14.81 million barrels per day of crude and condensate on average in September, tracking data. of tanks compiled by Bloomberg. That was a drop of 736,000 barrels a day from August.

Crude supplies from OPEC’s Middle East oil exporters fell to their lowest level since OPEC + production cuts were introduced in January 2017 following an attack on two of the largest oil refining facilities in OPEC. Saudi Arabia that halted more than half of the country’s oil production.

The additional deliveries needed to fulfill the kingdom’s commitments to its customers may come from the stockpiles of built-in Rotterdam, Sidi Kerir on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast and the Japanese island of Okinawa. Crude shipments from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, where the kingdom has back-up deposits, fell by more than 500,000 barrels a day, or almost 56%, in September.

Although Saudi Aramco said it did not lose any shipment to customers due to the attacks, the flows observed by Saudi oil terminals decreased month by month by 394,000 barrels a day, or 6%.

Following the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities, Kuwait was the only country to increase shipments in September. Kuwait Corp
Petroleum offered additional deliveries to at least two Asian refineries.

After Petroleum Minister Thamir Ghadhban vowed to stick closer to the agreed target under the latest OPEC + agreement. The country will make further cuts in October, Ghadhban said late last month, Iraq’s exports from Gulf Basra‘s oil terminal fell by 119,000 barrels per day to 3.41 million.

Many of Iran’s tankers are likely to be used to store crude or condensates off the Iranian coast, with China and Syria the only crude destinations observed in the country in recent months.

Shipments from Iran fell to 171,000 barrels a day last month, from 392,000 revised in August. These figures may underestimate current flows because the tracking signals have not been received for more than a week by 46 Iranian tankers, from a fleet of 56 vessels.

Shipments from the Persian Gulf to India have been in a generally declining trend since December and were about 750,000 barrels per day, or 25%, lower in September than they were in the last month of 2018.

Persian Gulf crude supplies to India, the nearest biggest market, fell to their lowest level in September since OPEC + production cuts were introduced.

US flows declined in September, with shipments from Saudi Arabia dropping to just 100,000 barrels a day, down from 1 million barrels a day during the same month last year. Last month’s figure could still rise if some of the 14 million barrels of crude that go from the kingdom to unknown destinations eventually go to the United States.

Downhill elevators should start appearing in import data around mid-October, when cargoes loaded in early September will begin arriving in the Gulf of Mexico or the West Coast.

Remittances watched by OPEC Gulf countries in China, their biggest customer, increased month after month, spanning a broad trend of rising flows that began in June. Iraq increased shipments to the Asian nation to its highest level since at least January 2016, when Bloomberg began tracking flows in detail, while shipments from Kuwait to China rose to its highest levels since February 2018.

September shipments to Japan fell to their lowest level since at least the beginning of OPEC + cuts in January 2017. Trade is dominated by the US and Saudi Arabia, which accounted for 41% and 42% of cash flows, respectively. passed./Investing.com

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