Saudi shipping less crude
Demand for oil last year was below what OPEC expected earlier in the year and that was the reason behind the glut, al- Naimi said in a speech in Abu Dhabi in December. Oil demand grew by 700,000 barrels a day while the group was expecting 1.2 million barrels a day, according to al-Naimi.
OPEC said in its monthly report on Feb. 9 that oil demand last year grew by 960,000 barrels a day while supply from outside the group expanded 1.99 million barrels a day. Non-OPEC supply may grow by 850,000 barrels a day this year as low oil prices will curtail U.S. production, it said.
Saudi Arabia increased production last year to an average 9.71 million barrels a day from 9.63 million barrels a day in 2013, according to the JODI data. The kingdom kept production high as it processed more crude at two refineries it started last year and burned more oil to generate power.
Local refineries processed 2.22 million barrels a day in December, the highest in any single month since at least January 2002, according to JODI data.
Saudi Aramco and partner Sinopec Group started a refinery last year at a joint venture plant at Yanbu on the Red Sea. The plant will have crude-processing capacity of 400,000 barrels a day. The company, along with partner Total SA of France, built a refinery of the same size at Jubail on the Persian Gulf. That plant, known as Satorp, had been running at full capacity since Aug. 1, Total officials said Sept. 23.
Saudi Arabia burned crude to generate power last year at the highest daily rate since 2009, when JODI started reporting the data. About 553,000 barrels a day of crude were burned on average by the nation last year, compared with 483,000 barrels a day in 2013, JODI data showed.