SINGAPORE, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is pumping about 9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, a senior official with state-owned Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday, less than was estimated in a Reuters poll for August.
“We are around 9 million barrels per day,” Ibrahim Mishari, vice-president of marketing and supply planning, told a forum in Singapore. He declined to be more precise.
A Reuters poll of consultants, shippers, industry and OPEC sources on Tuesday estimated Saudi Arabia output at 9.3 million bpd.
Saudi Aramco ramped up production to around 9.5 million bpd during the first quarter of this year before cutting back during the second quarter, as crude stocks swelled in most regions with refiners having a heavy maintenance season.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is due to meet on Sept. 11 to discuss its production but is unlikely to cut output, officials from several member countries have said over the past few weeks.
The 11-member carter has been producing at close to full capacity since the beginning of the year, apart from Saudi Arabia, which still holds spare volumes and says it continues to supply customers with all the crude they want.
Slumping fuel oil prices — now about $20 a barrel cheaper than crude — may have prompted some refiners to seek less Saudi crude, which has a high yield of the low-value product.
Saudi Aramco cut the official selling price (OSP) of its heaviest Arab Heavy crude to a record-low of $6.35 a barrel in discount, versus the average of Oman and Dubai prices for October.