Saudi crude oil burning in power plants is on track to decline annually for the first time since 2013. While some of the reduced direct crude burn can be attributed to increased gas availability, total crude plus fuel oil consumption is down only slightly this year – 999,000 b/d for January-October 2016 compared with just over 1mn b/d for the same period of 2015 – as increased volumes of heavy fuel oil are being burned in place of crude.

Saudi direct crude burn will average...