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CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s refinery output inched lower to 2.88 million barrels per day in May from 2.89 mbpd in April even as oil product exports increased 3.7 percent from 1.47 mbpd in April to 1.53 mbpd in May, revealed the Joint Organizations Data Initiative.

Gas or diesel oil, which makes up nearly 42 percent and is the largest contributor to refinery oil production, experienced a 4.3 percent decline in its monthly output after two months of growth in March and April. It went down from 1.26 mbdp in April to 1.20 mbpd in May, in contrast to a 13.9 percent yearly growth.

Motor and aviation gasoline, the second highest contributor to refinery oil production, declined from an 8.8 percent growth in March to a 1.22 percent growth in April, reaching a negative increase of 0.45 percent in May. In absolute terms, it decreased by 3,000 bpd to 661,000 bpd in May but showed a 22.9 percent annual increase from May 2021.

Monthly fuel oil production increased by 0.6 percent, a minor increase than its 3 percent rise in April, but a recovery compared to its 4.9 percent fall in March 2022. It grew from 515,000 bpd in April to 518,000 bpd in May. Additionally, it surged by 26.3 percent this year. Fuel oil is essential as it makes up 18 percent of total refinery oil production.

Furthermore kerosene, which includes jet fuel type, registered a 27.4 percent monthly increase in May 2022, while naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas fell 0.8 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively, during the same period. The “other” oil products grew 10.2 percent month-on-month in May, adding another 13,000 bpd.

Exports of refinery oil

Refinery oil exports reported an 18.7 percent increase to 1.53 mbpd in May. Gas or diesel oil — the largest contributor at 45.6 percent of total refined oil exports — displayed a growth of 6.6 percent or 43,000 bpd to 696,000 bpd in May, after two consecutive months of decline in diesel oil exports. Similarly, it showcased a 9.4 percent yearly growth from May last year.

Moving on to motor and aviation gasoline, although it declined by 3.7 percent or the equivalent of 12,000 bpd to 311,000 bpd, it showed a positive trend from February through April.

In addition to that, motor and aviation gasoline — which constitutes 20.4 percent of total exports — surged by 72.8 percent annual growth.

The third largest exported oil product is fuel oil, which experienced no month-on-month growth but went up by 8.4 percent over the last year.

Naphtha — which accounts for 9.3 percent of exports — went up by 40.6 percent from last month.

Another oil product type that makes up a small percentage of exports is kerosene, which declined by 9.8 percent month-on-month in exports from April.

Closing stock

Moving on to the Kingdom’s closing stock, all oil products saw a significant decrease in their stocks.  

Total oil products decreased by 5.6 million barrels in April to 91.3 million barrels in May, the lowest stock level since November 2020.

The decline in total stocks was due to a 2.7 million barrels decrease in the supplies of gas or diesel, which went from 33.3 million barrels in April to 30.6 million barrels in May.

Similarly, motor and aviation gasoline decreased from 31.7 million in April to 30.5 million barrels the following month.

Fuel oil suffered the same fate, decreasing by 1.8 million barrels in stocks from 8.6 million in April to 7.1 million barrels in May.

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