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Saudi has no plans to extend capacity for now-paper

Source says Saudi oil production capacity at 12 mln bpd

October 13, 2010 1:12 by

There are no projects in hand to extend Saudi Arabian oil capacity, which stands at 12 million barrels per day (bpd), Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed high level source.

The capacity figure places the kingdom level with Iraq’s ambition to reach 12 million bpd output capacity this decade.

Iraq raised its estimate of proven oil reserves by 25 percent last week, which was interpreted as positioning to achieve a higher OPEC output target . The producer group meets on Thursday in Vienna when it is widely expected to leave policy unchanged.

“Saudi Arabia has a spare production capacity of 4 million barrels per day (bpd) which means that the kingdom’s total current production capacity estimated at around 12 million bpd does not need to be raised,” al-Hayat reported, citing the source.

The source was citing King Abdullah’s remarks there was no need now to engage in new projects to raise production capacity.

OPEC-members have exceeded agreed oil production targets by around 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), the source also told the paper.

Saudi Aramco completed last year an expansion programme that took its capacity to 12 million bpd, which with the Neutral Zone included boosts the kingdom’s total capacity to 12.5 million bpd.

Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in June Saudi Arabia was unlikely to need to boost its crude production capacity beyond 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd) until 2020, which would still leave the kingdom with the 1.5 million to 2 million bpd of spare capacity it aims to keep.

In its monthly- report, OPEC raised its forecast for global oil demand growth this year by 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.13 million bpd — still lower than other forecasters such as the International Energy Agency, which represents oil consuming nations.

The source expected demand growth to stand at 1.3 million bpd, al-Hayat reported.

(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; editing by William Hardy

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