Tags: opec | saudi | iran | oil

Saudi Oil Output in January Was Near 31-Year High

Sunday, 18 March 2012 02:54 PM

Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in OPEC, pumped 9.871 million barrels a day in January, its second-highest monthly output since at least 1980, official data showed.

The country produced 0.6 percent more crude in January than in the previous month, according to statistics the government submitted to the Joint Organization Data Initiative. The world’s biggest exporter of crude also boosted shipments to 7.51 million barrels a day in January from 7.36 million barrels in December, data posted Sunday on the website of the international initiative known as JODI showed.

Saudi Arabia pumped 9.81 million barrels of oil in December and 10.047 million barrels in November, according to the website. The November figure was the highest for at least 31 years, according to data from the U.S. Energy Department. Daily production of almost 10 million barrels “may persist for some time” because of uncertain market conditions and upward pressure on crude prices, Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank, the country’s largest lender by assets, said in an e-mail.

Iran Factor

The latest figures for Saudi output and exports came as Iran, the No. 2 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, braces for a planned European ban on purchases of Iranian crude starting in July. Saudi Arabia is “poised to make good any shortfall, perceived or real,” in global supply, the kingdom’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi said on March 14 at the International Energy Forum in Kuwait.

The JODI data, which include condensates and exclude natural-gas liquids, are similar to an International Energy Agency estimate from February that Saudi Arabia was pumping 9.85 million barrels a day.

JODI is supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum and compiles data provided by member governments. The IEF is a group of nations accounting for more than 90 percent of global oil and gas supply and demand, established as a forum for producing and consuming countries to discuss international energy security.

OPEC supplies about 40 percent of global crude.

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Sunday, 18 March 2012 02:54 PM
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