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Saudi to supply full Jan crude vols to Asia-sources

OPEC seen keeping production targets steady this weekend.

December 10, 2010 10:35 by

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in January to at least two Asian term buyers, steady from December levels as expected, industry sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

A resurgence in Asian demand has prompted Saudi Arabia to restore full contracted volumes to Asia since January, and the latest allocation will boost chances that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will maintain production targets again at its meeting in Quito, Ecuador, on Saturday.

The 12-member producer group has held its supply target steady since announcing a record output cut in December 2008.

Since OPEC’s October meeting, oil prices  have rallied to 25-month highs, pushed up both by cold weather that drains inventories and relative weakness in the dollar as traders factor in the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing strategy to revive the economy.

Saudi Arabia made no changes to the operational tolerance in the supply allocations, meaning buyers have the option of asking for cargoes to be loaded with up to 10 percent more or less crude than contracted.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Michael Watson)

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