TOKYO, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, plans to keep curbs on crude oil supplies steady in December to some of its customers in Asia, industry sources said on Monday.
State oil firm Saudi Aramco told one buyer it will supply around 8-9 percent less than the contracted volumes of crude in December, unchanged from the shortfall in November. The company told another buyer it will get about a 6-7 percent cut for December, also unchanged from the previous month.
“Its about the same as last month” said one source, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.
The kingdom typically informs customers how much oil they can expect before the 10th of the preceding month, and sends about half of its crude exports to Asia.
Last week, Saudi Arabia, told U.S. refiners to expect cargoes to remain stable next month, after several months of no change in allocations to the country.
Other OPEC members have also shown little sign of relaxing their supply limits for December, with Qatar promising no change in shipments and UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co supplying its crudes at stable to slightly higher levels.
Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has been cutting supply to Asia since last December in line with the group’s agreement to cut 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output to offset falling demand and prices.
A Reuters survey earlier this month showed that OPEC oil supply fell in October for the first time in six months, as the group met 63 percent of promised supply cutbacks.
OPEC has kept official output targets unchanged at meetings this year and holds another gathering on Dec. 22 in Angola.
International benchmark U.S. crude futures rose to their highest level this year at $82 per barrel on Oct. 21, in part because of lower supply from the producer group.
NYMEX crude for December delivery CLc1 stood at $78.20 a barrel by 0057 GMT, up 77 cents from Friday’s settlement.