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OPEC quietly raising oil production, IEA says

The IEA said it had revised its estimates for Saudi Arabian oil production up by an average 135,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2010.

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January 18, 2011 2:26 by



OPEC oil producers may be quietly increasing output in response to higher oil prices and Saudi Arabia appears already to have raised its production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

“It appears Saudi Arabia has been making more crude available to the market in the past six months, judging by export data from independent tanker trackers,” the watchdog said in its monthly Oil Market Report.

The IEA said it had revised its estimates for Saudi Arabian oil production up by an average 135,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2010, with the biggest upward revision for the second half of the year.

“In December, Saudi output was assessed at 8.6 million bpd, up 100,000 bpd from a revised November estimate of 8.5 million bpd,” it said.

The agency said Saudi Arabia was on track to increase production again in January, and that Saudi Aramco had reduced prices for certain grades in February to make sales “more attractive”.

Other countries in the group were following in Aramco’s footsteps, the IEA said, adding that Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE had made similar price revisions.

All three had increased supply in December, while Iraq and the UAE’s overall capacity was also set to rise in the years ahead, it said.

(Reporting by Jessica Donati; editing by Christopher Johnson)



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