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Saudi oil output yet to reach 2008 levels

Oil drilling for production has declined, although exploration activities are increasing Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Aramco's Chief Executive. (AFP)

By Reuters

Saudi Arabia's oil production is still down compared with 2008, having fallen in 2009, state oil company Saudi Aramco's chief executive was reported as saying yesterday.

Oil drilling for production has declined, although exploration activities are increasing, Khalid Al Falih was also quoted as saying in the Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.

The top oil exporter and Opec's most influential member pumped 8.22 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, a Reuters survey showed. In February 2009, Saudi Arabia pumped 7.9 million bpd, Conrad Gerber of Geneva-based Petrologistics said last year.

The kingdom's oil production in 2008 averaged 8.9 million bpd, according to Aramco's 2008 annual report.

Saudi Arabia, like the other Opec members subject to output limits, saw its crude output fall after the organisation announced supply curbs of 4.2 million bpd in December 2008.

"Oil drilling activities for production declined, unlike exploration activities that are rising," Falih said. Overall drilling for oil this year is expected to remain the same as last year but Aramco would increase gas drilling activities, industry sources said this week.

Saudi Arabia announced last week a new gas find in the Jalamid area, which it said could be commercially exploited.

Tests showed the Jalamid-3 discovery well in al-Sannara reservoir flowed at 12.1 million cubic feet per day.


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