SEOUL/TOKYO, (Reuters) – Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will keep crude supplies in November steady to customers in Asia, trading sources said on Tuesday, a day after the kingdom cut shipments to global oil majors.
State oil firm Saudi Aramco told its biggest customers on Monday it would lower November supplies by about 5 percent from this month, signaling its intent to join an OPEC-wide supply reduction.
The kingdom appears to have spared refiners in Asia, which accounts for nearly half the kingdom’s 7 million barrels daily in exports, from the new round of cuts.
Asian buyers are often the last to be cut as they pay a higher price for Saudi oil.
But the kingdom has been trimming back at the margins for several months. Lifters in Japan, South Korea and China said Aramco has used operational tolerance limits of up to 10 percent to curb their shipments.
“We have not received any notice of a cut,” a trader with a Chinese company said.
Last week a senior OPEC delegate said Saudi Arabia would shoulder nearly a third, or 300,000 barrels per day, of a planned OPEC supply cut.
OPEC President Edmund Daukoru on Monday moved to give the planned cut extra bite by sending a letter to fellow members asking to apply the 1 million-bpd reduction to real production — estimated around 27.5 million bpd — and not just the group’s formal ceiling, which has been at 28 million bpd.
He requested responses by Oct. 10, said an industry source who has seen the letter.