SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has cut supplies of February-loading crude for some Asian buyers by up to a quarter while meeting requirements of at least four others, several refinery and trade sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.
This comes after Saudi Arabia pledged additional voluntary output cuts of one million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
Two North Asian refiners have received a 10 per cent supply cut from the state-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco, sources said. February allocations for at least three Indian refiners have been cut between 15 per cent and 26 per cent, the sources said on the condition of anonymity.
Saudi Aramco declined to comment.
Last year, the company cut June-August shipments to Asian term buyers to comply with the OPEC+ agreement.
Saudi Arabia exported about seven million bpd of crude, of which around 70 per cent landed in Asia last year, data on Refinitiv Eikon showed.
While the additional Saudi oil supply cut could help support the spot market this month, Asia’s crude consumption is expected to fall amid seasonal refinery maintenance while arbitrage supplies from the West could supplement demand, trading sources said.
Refiners, including India’s HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp and Thailand’s IRPC Pcl and Bangchak Corp, are heading into maintenance in the first quarter.