Riyadh, Mar 30 (efe-epa).- Saudi Arabia is set to increase its oil exports to 10.6 million barrels per day starting Monday due to a drop in national demand in the wake of restrictions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
The demand for energy globally has received a massive blow with oil prices plunging to 17 year lows on Monday.
The Saudi move means an increase of 600,000 barrels per day comparing to the current rate, state-run SPA news agency reported citing an unnamed Energy Ministry source.
The increase comes as a result, not only of a lower demand in the Arab country due to measures to tackle the coronavirus, but also the displacing of crude with natural gas as a fuel for generating electricity, the source added.
The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the government revealed it would make up for local oil consumption of 250,000 barrel by using the al-Fadhili gas plant, which would allow the kingdom to increase its exports.
A few days before, state-run Aramco announced it would boost its input up to 13 million barrels per day in April.
Oil prices on Monday fell by 5 percent to reach reach its lowest level in two decades.
A lack of consensus between Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut oil production and a subsequent pricing war has accelerated the fall in prices.
Moscow refused to cut production by 1.5 million barrels per day as the existing deal between the OPEC+ members is set to expire tomorrow. EFE-EPA