ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia raised its oil output in October to 10.3 million barrels per day but kept its supply to the oil markets below its OPEC output target, a Saudi industry source familiar with the kingdom’s oil operations told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, told OPEC that its production in September fell by 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) from August to 9.13 million bpd in the wake of attacks on its energy installations.
Oil supply to the markets stood at 9.890 million bpd in October, the Saudi source said, adding that the 400,000 bpd difference between production and supply was moved to inventories.
“Saudi Aramco (is) replenishing its inventories, which it earlier drew upon during September 2019, in order to supply the needs of its customers despite being subject to the most serious act of aggression in the history of the industry,” the source said.
The Sept. 14 attacks on two oil plants run by state oil giant Saudi Aramco knocked out half of the kingdom’s oil production, or 5% of global output, sending oil prices soaring.
But the kingdom was quick to bring back production with almost no impact on the crude volumes it exported as it drew from its huge oil inventories.
The kingdom’s OPEC output target under a global supply cut agreement is 10.3 million bpd, but Riyadh has been pumping below this for most of 2019 to support oil prices and curb a global supply glut.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and their allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, meet in December to decide on output policy for 2020.
Reporting by Rania El Gamal, editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise