Time: June 11, 2018
Saudi Arabia boosted daily oil output in May to the highest level since October, ahead of meetings with Russia and other global producers next week where they may propose raising production even further and phasing out 18 months of voluntary cuts.
Saudi Arabia, which along with Russia is trying to garner support for lifting output limits, told the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that its daily production rose 162,000 barrels a day to 10.030 million in May compared with the previous month, a person with knowledge of the data said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Saudi Arabia and Russia may propose a gradual production increase at the June 22-23 meetings in Vienna, intending to offset any supply disruptions in Iran and Venezuela. Riyadh pledged to pump no more than 10.058 million barrels a day under OPEC’s output-cuts agreement with Russia and other allies outside the group. The desert kingdom usually boosts output in summer months as domestic demand for fuel rises.
Russia too is showing signs of a weaker commitment to supply cuts as its production increases before talks with OPEC about the future of the accord for limiting output. The nation boosted crude supply to the highest in 14 months in the first week of June as some companies breached their caps, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
The U.S. is said to have asked Saudi Arabia and others to relax output restraints put in place in early 2017 as prices near $80 a barrel pose a threat to economic growth.
Iraq on Monday joined Iran and Venezuela in opposing any plans to start boosting crude output. OPEC should resist pressure to increase oil supplies as the production cuts haven’t yet achieved their purpose, with oil prices still below the desired level, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in a statement.