Saudi oil output rising to 10mn bpd, says PIRA

Saudi oil output risingOil production in Saudi Arabia is rising, with output currently standing at around 10mn barrels per day (bpd), according to energy consultancy firm PIRA

Saudi production averaged about 9.7mn bpd since last June, but "additional demand has pushed output to just under, if not above, 10mn bpd," said the consultancy in a weekly note.

The estimated increase suggested the country is hewing tightly to its strategy of protecting market share over cutting production in order to inflate prices.

A survey by Reuters earlier this month indicated that the kingdom's production levels, which have been flat to slightly higher according to sources, boosted OPEC's overall oil supply for January.

The figures have been seen as a sign that key members are standing firm in refusing to prop up oil prices, which fell by 60 per cent between June and January, and have remained low as oversupply outweighed concerns about supply disruptions.

The information from PIRA and Reuters contrasted with data released earlier this month by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative, which showed Saudi production holding at about 9.6mn bpd in December.

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