By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that Aramco would 300,000 barrels per day from its stocks to achieve 12.3 million barrels per day in April
Saudi Aramco is likely to sustain April’s higher oil output through May, with the oil giant saying it is “very comfortable” with a $30 per barrel price level.
Last week, Aramco announced it would raise April’s output to a record 12.3 million barrels per day as part of a struggle with Russia for market share.
“In a nutshell, Saudi Aramco can sustain the very low price and can sustain it for a long time,” CEO Amin Nasser said in an earnings call on Monday. “For the production in May…I doubt it would be any different from next month.
Nasser added that the boost in output and exports would be positive for the company despite low oil prices.
Aramco’s chief financial officer, Khalid al-Dabbagh, said that Aramco was “very comfortable” with a price per barrel of $30, adding that the company will be able to meet its dividend commitments and the expectation of its shareholders.
During the call, Nasser also said that Aramco would draw 300,000 barrels per crude a day from existing stocks to help boost output.
“Our maximum sustained output capacity is 12 million bpd,” he said, adding that it will rise to 12.3 million barrels per day in April.
“The 300,000 will be coming from our inventories,” he added.
The new level of output, Nasser said, could be sustained for a significant time period.
“Our maximum (output) capacity is sustainable for one year without the need for any additional building,” he added. “It does not require any additional capital.”
On Monday, Brent North Sea oil fell over 10 percent to a four-year low of $30.15 per barrel.
A day earlier, Saudi Aramco reported a 20.6 percent fall in net profit for 2019 because of lower crude prices and production cuts. Its net income was reported as $88.2 billion last year, compared to $111.1 billion the previous year.