Saudi oil output steady at 9.2 mbpd
The world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia continues to pump around 9.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, a rate the kingdom has held steady for several months, a Saudi official said on Monday.
"We are pumping around 9.2 million bpd still," the official told Reuters by telephone. He declined to say if there would be any change in Saudi output in April.
The kingdom's output is around 300,000 bpd above its formal Opec target.
Saudi Arabia is the only member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that can easily add significant amounts of extra oil to the market.
Opec, source of more than a third of the world's crude, kept its output target steady at a meeting in early March despite calls from consuming countries for more oil to help ease record prices.
US crude hit a new record of $111.80 a barrel on Monday.
Officials from the producer group have blamed oil's surge on factors beyond their control such as the weak dollar and the flow of cash from investment funds to commodities.
"Prices are not going up because of a lack of output, but rather from the effect of speculation," Opec President Chakib Khelil said on Sunday, the official Algerian news agency APS reported. (Reuters)
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