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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Saudi Aramco Restores Oil Production Capacity To Pre-Attack Levels

Saudi Aramco has restored Saudi Arabia’s oil production capacity to 11.3 million bpd—the level before the attacks on oil facilities ten days ago, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing three sources with knowledge of the Kingdom’s oil company’s operations.

Separately, people familiar with the situation at Aramco told Bloomberg on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is recovering from the September 14 attacks faster than expected—about a week faster than Saudi officials have given as a date to recover the full capacity, the end of September.

The attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure on September 14 knocked 5.7 million bpd—or 5 percent of global oil supply—offline. The market initially panicked, with prices jumping the most on record last Monday, until Saudi Arabia started to insist through official statements and sources that it would fully restore oil supply by the end of September.  

Despite continued reports that the Saudis would struggle to restore oil supply by the end of this month as they had promised and that repairs would likely take months rather than weeks, a source told Reuters on Monday that the Kingdom would fully restore by early next week the oil production lost in the attacks.

As of Monday, Saudi Arabia was said to have restored 75 percent of the production lost in the attacks. Output at the Khurais oil field was more than 1.3 million bpd as of Monday, while production from Abqaiq stood at around 3 million bpd.

According Reuters’ sources today, production at the Abqaiq plant is around 4.9 million bpd now.

Reports of the Saudis restoring capacity faster than indicated combined with renewed fears that a protracted U.S.-China trade war would further dent oil demand and with a surprise crude oil inventory build estimated by the API to weigh down on oil prices early on Wednesday. As of 07:07 a.m. EDT, WTI Crude was down 1.38 percent at $56.50, while Brent Crude was trading down 1.46 percent at $61.21.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 25 2019 said:
    Given the considerable damage sustained by Saudi Aramco oil infrastructure, Reuters quoting unnamed sources and claiming that Saudi Aramco has restored oil production capacity to pre-attack levels could only be fake news.

    Reuters quoting an unnamed sources claimed that the Khurais oilfield is now back to full production at 1.3 million barrels a day (mbd) of light oil as of last Monday at a time when Saudi Aramco has been telling its customers that some lighter grades would likely be replaced with heavier crude grades.

    Moreover, Wall Street Journal reported two days ago that it was informed by contractors and fabricators that repairs to Saudi Aramco infrastructure is going to take months rather than weeks as the Saudis are suggesting. It also reported that Saudi Aramco was offering to pay a premium for speedy repairs.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Lee James on September 25 2019 said:
    Regardless of what the actual repair time is, we are reminded once again of oil supply and environmental risk. Risk is part of oil's total cost, less subsidies . . . and the various billions of subsidies propping up oil need to end.
  • William Edwards on September 26 2019 said:
    Much confusion has arisen due to the inability of most observers to distinguish between production and production capacity. If a facility is only operating at half capacity, then a 50% loss of capacity has zero impact on production. Accordingly, on the night of the bombing, I advised as follows: "This may be a different take from that you get from your professional cohorts, but I thought I would let you know what is actually going to happen as a result of the attack on the Saudi production facilities. The Saudis have so much spare capacity that they will not lose any production. No customers will be turned away. They may even get a little bit of additional outlet if the speculators put oil in storage in order to capitalize on a hoped-for price boost. But the Saudi‘s will reap higher prices for their own oil as long as the turmoil keeps prices boosted. So the attackers have probably done the opposite of what they want. They have actually helped the Saudis get more income for their production." Thus, events have transpired as expected, if the expectations were soundly based, rather than being sensationalized with superficial assessments.

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