Saudi Oil Break-Even Price Rise to $71.5 Next Year, NCB Says

Saudi Arabia’s break-even price to balance next year’s budget will rise to $71.5 a barrel from $70.9 this year, according to National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender by assets.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, is expected to produce 9.2 million barrels a day on average in 2011, Jarmo Kotilaine, the bank’s chief economist, said today in response to e-mailed questions. The lender, known as NCB, forecasts the country’s average oil production to fall to 8.8 million barrels a day in 2012, he said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries signaled in its meeting in Vienna on Dec. 14 that it’s prepared to allow Saudi Arabia, the biggest member, to keep pumping crude at near the highest rate in at least 30 years, while increasing its combined output limit to 30 million barrels a day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Khobar at wmahdi@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net.

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