RIYADH: Saudi Arabia the world’s top oil exporter, plans to keep its crude oil shipments in May below 7 million barrels per day (bpd) for the 12th consecutive month, the Saudi Energy Ministry said. Saudi Arabia has been pumping below its OPEC target since January and reducing its crude shipments, particularly to the United States, as it turns its focus to cutting exports in an attempt to drain global oil stocks.
The ministry said in a statement that “Allocations to international customers were kept under 7 million barrels a day despite nominations coming in higher than the previous month as demand picks up seasonally.” It gave no details on its production plan for May.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers led by Russia have agreed to maintain oil output cuts until the end of 2018 aiming to reduce global inventories and boost oil prices.
OPEC has made the five-year average its main target and managed to reduce the glut to around 74 million barrels above that benchmark, from above 300 million when the cuts began in 2017.
A spokesman for the energy ministry said that Saudi Arabia “reiterates its steadfast commitment to restoring inventories back to their normal levels.