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Saudi crude exports surge to 29-month high in September

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports rose for a fourth straight month in September to the highest in 29 months, data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Thursday.

Crude exports rose about 1.6% to 7.721 million barrels per day (bpd) in September - the highest since April 2020 - from 7.601 million bpd in August.

The world's largest oil exporter's crude production, however, fell to 11.041 million bpd in September from 11.051 million bpd in the previous month.

Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other OPEC members to JODI, which publishes them on its website.

OPEC on Monday cut its forecast for 2022 global oil demand growth for a fifth time since April and further trimmed next year's figure, citing mounting economic challenges including high inflation and rising interest rates.

In October, OPEC and allies - known as OPEC+ - decided to lower targeted production and OPEC's de-facto leader Saudi Arabia said the cut of 2 million bpd was necessary to respond to rising interest rates in the West and a weaker global economy.

The group is expected to hold its next meeting in Vienna on Dec. 4.

Saudi's domestic crude refinery throughput decreased by 108,000 bpd to 2.693 million bpd in September, while direct crude burn fell 142,000 bpd to 522,000 bpd.

Meanwhile, state oil firm Saudi Aramco said on Thursday it planned to invest in a $7 billion project to produce petrochemicals from crude oil at its South Korean affiliate S-Oil Corp's refining complex in the city of Ulsan.

(Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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