DUBAI - Saudi Arabia's crude stockpiles fell by 11.8 million barrels in December, despite steady shipments by the world's biggest oil exporter, official data showed on Tuesday.
The kingdom's oil inventories declined to 155.199 million barrels in December, from 167.013 million barrels in November, according to data on the website of the Riyadh-based Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI).
Crude exports in December were unchanged at 7.373 million barrels per day, from the previous month, despite a drop in production. The top OPEC exporter pumped 9.594 million bpd in December, down from 9.890 million bpd in November.
Saudi Arabia has been drawing from its huge oil inventories after attacks on its oil facilities in September temporarily knocked out more than half of its output.
Following the attacks the kingdom managed to maintain supplies to customers, partly by drawing from its oil stockpiles, and was able to swiftly restore its oil production capacity.
Led by de-factor leader Saudi Arabia, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies agreed in December to reduce oil supply by 1.7 million bpd, with Riyadh pledging to withhold its output more than its share, bringing the effective cut to 2.1 million bpd.
The current reduction pact expires in March and Saudi Arabia has been leading talks with OPEC and its allies led by Russia to deepen the oil cuts and extend the current agreement on worries that China's new coronavirus will impact oil demand.
Saudi's local refineries processed 2.228 million bpd in December, steady from 2.211 million bpd in November, according to JODI. Exports of refined oil products in December fell to 1.052 million bpd, from 1.173 million bpd the month before, the data showed.
Saudi Arabia used 374,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power in December, up from 342,000 bpd the month before, while Saudi demand for oil products in December was 2.043 million bpd, down slightly from 2.102 million bpd in November, according to the data.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of OPEC to JODI, which publishes them on its website.
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +971 562 160 434; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com ; Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rania_ElGamal))