Saudi Arabia promises to continue Japan oil exports

Saudi Arabia promises to continue Japan oil exports
OPEC production cap will not hinder exports to one of the kingdom's markets, says the deputy Saudi minister.
2 min read
27 January, 2017
Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest portion of Japan's crude imports [AFP]
Crude oil exports from Saudi Arabia to Japan will not be reduced despite OPEC's global output cut agreement, a deputy minister told reporters on Thursday.

The minister's message of reassurance follows a report by Reuters earlier this week that said that the kingdom's oil output had fallen below the December average of 10.47 barrels per day [bpd] to 9.9 million bpd.

This drop in production means that Saudi Arabia has gone beyond the agreed cut of 485,000 bpd.

With a few mineral resources of its own, Japan is highly dependent on oil imports. Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest portion of the Far-East nation's crude imports, with a daily rate of 113 million barrels per day [bpd] to Japan as of 2015.

This news will come as a relief to Tokyo, as Riyadh has promised to shoulder the bulk of the global output cut agreed by OPEC members.

Earlier this month, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom would go above and beyond agreed targets, amid fears that oil producers make break their pledges.

At a meeting in Vienna earlier this week, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Algeria, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait agreed to implement a monitoring mechanism to ensure that targets were being adhered to.

OPEC and 11 non-OPEC producers have agreed to take 1.8 million bpd off the market as part of an effort to shore up oil prices. According to officials, 1.5 million bpd has already been cut.

Members of the oil production cartel will meet again in July to reassess whether the cut should continue or be relaxed.