Saudi Oil Stockpiles at Record High

Saudi Oil Stockpiles at Record HighSaudi Oil Stockpiles at Record High

Saudi Arabia’s crude inventories rose to a record level in August, as production and exports by the world’s biggest oil shipper declined.

Commercial crude stockpiles increased to 326.6 million barrels, the highest since at least 2002, from 320.2 million barrels in July, according to data posted on the website of the Riyadh-based Joint Organizations Data Initiative, Bloomberg reported.

Brent crude oil prices have slid 12% this year, as Saudi Arabia led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in boosting production to defend the group’s market share amid a global supply glut.

Saudi Arabia cut back oil production in August to 10.27 million barrels a day from 10.36 million in July, according to the JODI data.

The kingdom told OPEC that it produced 10.23 million barrels daily in September. It pumped at an all-time high of 10.56 million barrels a day in June, exceeding a previous record from 1980.

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports also fell by 278,000 barrels per day in August, despite historically high wellhead production, while volumes of shipped refined oil products rose to a record high, official data showed on Sunday.

The OPEC heavyweight shipped 6.998 million bpd in August, down from 7.276 million bpd in July, figures published by JODI showed. The world's biggest crude exporter trimmed its production by around 100,000 bpd in August pumping 10.265 million bpd, but still maintained high output levels in line with a strategy of defending market share.

Saudi Arabia burns higher crude volumes to generate power for air conditioning during the hot summer months. It has also been feeding more crude to domestic refineries, as it expands oil product exports. Domestic refineries processed the same volumes in August at 2.214 million, while crude oil directly burnt to generate power was also unchanged in August from the month before at 848,000 bpd, the JODI data showed.