Saudi Arabia is pumping as much as 11.2 million barrels of crude a day, the most since the kingdom extracted its first oil eight decades ago, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The kingdom’s production was running at about 10.8 million to 10.9 million barrels earlier this month as it responded to stronger-than-usual demand from clients preparing for a disruption in Iranian supplies.
Saudi Arabia was also using crude from domestic and overseas stockpiles to supplement supply, industry executives said at the time.
It’s unclear if Saudi Arabia plans to keep increasing production, or if it is still supplementing supply from inventories. A Saudi Arabian oil official declined to comment.
OPEC and its allies meet December 6 in Vienna to discuss the group’s 2019 production strategy. Saudi Arabia has already said it supports a drop in output and has pledged to reduce shipments by 500,000 barrels a day in December, compared with November.
Key decision makers will be at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this week, in a meeting that may well decide the direction of oil prices in 2019.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who lead the two largest oil exporters and have been working together to manage the oil market for the past two years, both plan to be in the Argentinian capital.
Khalid Al-Falih and Alexander Novak, the Saudi and Russian energy ministers, are also scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires, according to people familiar with their plans. Their presence reinforces the impression that Saudi Arabia and Russia will try to reach a deal before the OPEC meeting a few days later.
OPEC is under pressure from US President Donald Trump to keep driving oil prices lower. Brent crude, the global benchmark, dropped more than 30 percent over the last two months, falling to a low of $58.41 a barrel last week. That compares with a four-year high of $86.74 in early October.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.