Saudi Arabia’s crude output fell just 660,000 b/d to an average 9.13 million b/d last month, according to official figures reported to OPEC, as the world’s largest crude exporter saw its production bounce back from attacks on its key oil facilities. The September 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais initially caused a supply disruption of about 5.7 million b/d, about half of Saudi capacity.
Noting that Saudi Arabia restored its oil production to previous levels by the end of September, OPEC said the initial price spike after the event was quickly erased due in part to a weakening global economy and “wavering oil demand.” “Oil prices declined further in late September on a fading risk premium and a faster-than-expected recovery in Saudi Arabia’s oil production, as well as signs of easing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East,” OPEC said in its latest monthly oil market report.
The official Saudi production figures for September, however, are considerably higher than 8.56 million b/d estimate given by OPEC, which uses six independent secondary sources to track production. OPEC’s crude production suffered its steepest month-on-month fall in almost 17 years last month, according to an S&P Global Platts survey this week, as the attacks on Saudi facilities dragged the producer group’s output to the lowest since in the wake of the global financial crisis. Saudi Arabia pumped 8.45 million b/d on average last month, according to the survey. Overall, OPEC pumped 28.49 million b/d last month, 1.32 million b/d below August, it said in its closely-watched monthly report.
DEMAND GROWTH CUT
OPEC revised down its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast marginally by 40,000 b/d to 980,000 b/d, reflecting the latest available data in OECD Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. OPEC left its world oil demand growth forecast for 2020 at 1.08 million b/d, in line with last month’s projections.