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Shadows picked up by satellites advise Saudi Arabia under reported its oil stores last year



Saudi Oil Minister, Khalid al-Falih, arrives to attend the Future Investment Initiative discussion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Oct 24, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Saudi
Oil Minister, Khalid al-Falih, arrives to attend the Future
Investment Initiative discussion in Riyadh

Thomson Reuters


  • Satellite images of two major oil refineries in Saudi
    Arabia advise pot may have been aloft than
    reported.
  • Satellite record allows the levels of oil in tanks
    to be estimated according to the shadows expel by their floating
    roofs.
  • Saudi Arabia reported descending oil pot last year
    and concluded as partial of OPEC to extend prolongation cuts into
    2018.

LONDON — New satellite imagery of two of Saudi Arabia’s largest
oil refineries suggests the Kingdom may have under-reported its
oil stores in the first half of 2017.

Satellite images collected by tech start up Bird.i advise the
turn of wanton oil held in two major refineries in Saudi Arabia,
Ras Tanura and Yanbu, increasing between Jan and Jun 2017.
This is despite the Kingdom’s central sum that show supplies
declined, and a joining to revoke supply in the face of low
prices.

Bird.i collects and analyses satellite, drone and airborne images
from countless sources, some of which are prisoner in monochrome
and some in full colour. The record allows the generosity of
oil tanks to be estimated according to the shadows expel by tanks’
floating roofs: some-more shade suggests the roof and oil stores are
low. Factors such as the time the photos were taken, the
position of the object and the satellite’s position are also taken
into consideration.

Images taken of the Ras Tanura refinery, Saudi Arabia’s biggest
refinery with a ability of 550,000 barrels per day, suggest
bonds were comparatively low in Jan compared to in May, when
the shadows expel were much shorter — indicating a aloft supply.


RasTanuraRefinery_20170130 073917_WORLDVIEW02_TLLat26P653037Lng50P143758_BRLat26P635511Lng50P166550_Z16_1030010063B0AE00OTHERe28fa15d 5f5a 4304 89db c799740150d7_CCOVER 0_SUNAZI 156P000_SUNELE 42P500_ONAD 28P200_BANDS 1_GSD 0P5870_FCPS
Ras
Tanura refinery in Jan 2017.

Copyright © Birdi Ltd. – Image © 2017 DigitalGlobe,
Inc.



RasTanuraRefinery_20170508 103500_WORLDVIEW01_TLLat26P653037Lng50P143758_BRLat26P635511Lng50P166550_Z16_102001005F3A7800OTHERcb9e6bd8 6e86 4937 b97a 00548a40f7d5_CCOVER 7_SUNAZI 257P500_SUNELE 61P000_ONAD 29P300_BANDS 1_GSD 0P6290_FCPS 1
Ras
Tanura refinery in May 2017 — where reduction shade can be
seen.

Copyright © Birdi Ltd. – Image ©
2017 DigitalGlobe, Inc.



Screen Shot 2017 12 20 at 10.32.10Google
Maps

Images of Yanbu terminal, a major refinery on the Red Sea with a
ability of 225,000 barrels per day, advise bonds in November
2016 were comparatively low compared to those in May 2017, when the
tanks demeanour to be “almost full,” according to Corentin Guillo,
founder and CEO of Bird.i.

However, a third — and the many new — picture of Yanbu, taken in
Dec 2017, shows some-more shadow, suggesting oil haven fell
again in the second half of the year.


YanbuRefinery_20161118
Yanbu
refinery in Nov 2016.

Copyright ©
Birdi Ltd. – Image © 2017 DigitalGlobe, Inc.



YanbuRefinery_20170529
Yanbu
refinery in May 2017 — less shadow
visible.

Copyright © Birdi Ltd. –
Image © 2017 DigitalGlobe, Inc.



YanbuRefinery_20171210
Yanbu
refinery in Dec 2017.

Copyright ©
Birdi Ltd. – Image © 2017 DigitalGlobe, Inc.



Screen Shot 2017 12 20 at 10.39.10Google
Maps

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest oil producers and key
member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC). In Nov 2016,
OPEC members concluded to cut oil prolongation in the face of an
oil bolt and descending prices, and in Nov 2017 both OPEC and
non-OPEC producers
concluded to extend oil outlay cuts until the finish of 2018.

Saudi Arabia also reported descending stores via 2017. In
central information submitted to the Joint Organisation Data Initiative
(Jodi), the Kingdom reported oil bonds had declined by 5.4 million barrels between
Jan and Jun 2017, and were on a downward arena between
Mar and September.


Screen Shot 2017 12 20 at 08.32.36Jodi

“The instruction of the oil cost is quite formidable to
envision given the multiple of global demand, technological
change and politics which feed into its valuation,” pronounced Laith
Khalaf, comparison researcher at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“It would be flattering destabilising for the oil price, and for
OPEC, if Saudi Arabia was shown to be observant one thing and doing
another,” he said.

But Khalaf cautioned above belligerent storage tanks are not the full
picture: satellite images are “far from decisive evidence,” he
said, given pot are also held abroad and in underground
tanks.

Saudi Arabia’s economy is
heavily contingent on oil, a problem — in the face of a finite
supply and low oil prices — the Kingdom is trying to solve. Its

Vision 2030 plan seeks to variegate the economy and boost
the state’s coffers.

As partial of this project, the Kingdom plans to
boyant state oil hulk Saudi Aramco, which uses both Ras
Tanura and Yanbu refineries.

“In sequence to approve with the normal inventory rules, Saudi Aramco
would have to exhibit accurate information about its current
pot and how they have been calculated,” said Mihir
Kapadia, CEO of Sun Global Investments.

“However, it is not nonetheless transparent either the share sale would
embody tenure of the belligerent reserves, and therefore we may be
capricious about the turn of clarity from the company,” he
said.

“The [official government] figure of 266 billion barrels [in
reserves] matters since it estimates the proven value of the
commodity, generally as it could conclude after rise oil,”
pronounced Kapadia.

“One of the pivotal aspects for the [Aramco’s] gratefulness would be the
haven total,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s oil method did not immediately respond to a
ask for comment.

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