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Saudi crude production hits 7-month high in February

 Saudi Arabia's crude production hit a seven-month peak of 9.01 million barrels per day in February, as reported by the Joint Organizations Data Initiative. This marked a 55,000 bpd increase or a 0.61 percent rise from the previous month.

Additionally, data revealed that the Kingdom's crude exports climbed to 6.32 million bpd, reflecting a monthly uptick of 0.32 percent. In early April, OPEC+ opted to maintain its current output policy unchanged, given the surge in oil prices to a five-month high.

Led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, OPEC+ extended voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million bpd until June to support the market. This decision was made during the 53rd Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting on April 3.

Oil prices surged due to supply constraints, attacks on Russian energy infrastructure, and Middle East conflicts, with Brent crude surpassing $89 a barrel. These extended cuts, coupled with voluntary reductions announced in April 2023, now extend through December of this year.

Despite the monthly increase, crude output remains around 14 percent lower compared to the same month last year due to these cuts. The next JMMC meeting is slated for June 1.

Refinery output also witnessed a surge, reaching a five-month high of 2.68 million bpd, a 10 percent increase from the previous month and a similar rise from last year's figures.

Diesel production, constituting 38 percent of the total output, declined by 7 percent to 1.02 million bpd in February. Meanwhile, motor aviation or jet fuel maintained a 22 percent share, rising by 11 percent to 597,000 bpd. Fuel oil output saw a slight increase of 0.22 percent, totaling 455,000 bpd.

Refinery output exports hit a 10-month high, reaching 1.39 million bpd, with significant increases in motor and aviation oil by 45 percent and fuel oil by 38 percent. Diesel oil exports rose by 13 percent.

Saudi Arabia's direct burn of crude oil rose by 52,000 bpd in February, a 17 percent increase from the previous month, totaling 360,000 bpd. The Ministry of Energy aims to enhance natural gas and renewable sources to achieve an efficient energy mix.

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