Saudi Arabia has started boosting oil production after two years of curtailing output, a move that gives Riyadh a jump on other OPEC producers who are expected to open the spigots later this month, WSJ reported.
The added crude isn’t huge in terms of overall Saudi production. But it marks a sharp u-turn for Riyadh, which had led a coalition of big producers who have cut back hard on output during the past two years. The added oil could further cool prices, which after topping $80 a barrel on international markets, have subsided more recently.
The officials said Saudi Arabia plans to boost output by at least another 100,000 barrels a day this month but they didn’t say when. "The move will help ease concerns in the market" over Iranian disruptions, one of the officials said.
Oil data consultancy Kpler, meanwhile, said it was seeing an uptick in crude oil exports from the kingdom. The firm, which tracks vessels leaving Saudi ports, said it estimates Saudi boosted exports by an extra 300,000 barrels day in May. The uptick occurred in the middle of the month. Exports and production levels don’t always move in tandem. In the past, Saudi Arabia has buttressed added production by taking oil out of storage.