Saudi Arabia plans to reduce its oil exports to 6.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down from 8.2 million bpd last year, the country's energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, announced yesterday.
Speaking in an interview with The Financial Times, Al-Falih added that the kingdom would also reduce its oil production to 9.8 million bpd next month, over half a million bpd below its pledged production level under a global supply-cutting deal reached in December between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia.
Under the deal, which came into effect at the start of 2019, Saudi Arabia – largest OPEC producer – aims to produce 10.311 million bpd.
Falih pointed out that the state-owned oil company "Saudi Aramco" was planning to develop an international energy exploration and production business, stressing that the overseas expansion would be the company future's "core pillar."
"We are no longer going to be inward-looking and focused only on monetizing the kingdom's resources," he said, noting that his country would focus efforts on creating what he described as "global gas business."
Addressing the market concerns about potential oil demand, the minister stressed that the oil market was on the right track. "If we look beyond the noise of weekly data and vibrations in the market, and the speculators' herd-like behaviour, I remain convinced that we are on the right track and that the oil market will quickly return to balance."