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In March Saudi Arabia managed to increase their oil production to 10.1 million barrels per day, their highest output in 31 years, as they tried to compensate for the declining supplies coming out of Iran. This volume saw them become the largest crude oil producer in the world, overtaking Russia for the first time in six years.
However, a month later they dropped their production volume again as oil prices started to fall, allowing Russia to retake their place at the top. In July Saudi Arabia produced just 9.8 million barrels a day, compared to Russia’s 9.92 million barrels, according to data from the Joint Organisation Data Initiative.
Now that oil prices are on the rise once more Saudi Arabia will continue with its attempts to control the market and cushion its customers from price spikes with promises to increase production. This week the Gulf state actually offered to supply its customers in the US, Europe, and Asia with extra oil from now until the end of the year in order to drive prices down.
“We are consulting our clients about their oil needs and telling them we are ready to supply more.”
A senior oil official from an African OPEC country told Arabian Business that “the Saudis are actively managing the market. They supplied a little less when prices dropped to $90 over the summer and they will supply more now that prices are above $115.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com