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Saudi Arabia reports May crude oil production of 8.544 mil b/d, above target

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia self-reported crude oil production of 8.544 million b/d for May, indicating it has unwound its voluntary extra output cut at a faster pace than it originally announced.

Saudi Arabia had said it would hold production to 8.482 million b/d for the month, and energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman had affirmed the figure to reporters at a June 1 OPEC+ press conference.

Among its counterparts, Saudi Arabia, which co-chairs a key OPEC+ monitoring committee with Russia, has been the most fastidious about sticking to its quota and since February has even held its output by an additional 1 million b/d below its cap, to help support the oil market.

In April, Prince Abdulaziz said the kingdom would begin pulling back that extra cut by 250,000 b/d in May, followed by 350,000 b/d in June and 400,000 b/d in July, in concert with OPEC and its allies lifting production quotas.

The May figure, which was revealed in OPEC’s latest monthly oil market report on June 10, showed Saudi Arabia actually relaxed its extra cut by 312,000 b/d in the month.

Still, its quota compliance remains robust at 139%, second best within OPEC to Angola, according to calculations by S&P Global Platts. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude, has the capacity to pump some 12.5 million b/d, including from the Neutral Zone it shares with Kuwait.

The extra crude is coming into a market seeing healthy demand with prospects of further global economic growth in the months ahead.

Dated Brent has hit two-year highs in recent days, with Platts assessing the benchmark at $71.39/b on June 9.

The strength in the market has prompted OPEC, Russia and other allies in a production cut accord to gradually raise their crude output quotas through July.

OPEC ministers will next meet June 24, followed by an expanded OPEC+ meeting on July 1 to discuss production levels for August and beyond.
Source: Platts

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