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Saudi Oil Output to Stay Near 10 Million Barrels a Day

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, will probably keep crude production in September at similar levels to this month and July, a person with knowledge of the kingdom’s oil policy said.

The world’s biggest crude exporter produced 10.03 million barrels a day in July, and taking into account inventory movements it supplied 9.9 million barrels a day to the market that month, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Output won’t vary much unless market conditions change, the person said.

Saudi Arabia isn't supplanting sales from Libya, where oil exports have dipped, and the current situation is different to 2011 when the North African nation was in greater turmoil, the person said, adding that Saudi and Libyan crude varieties are different and most Saudi customers are in Asia.

A PIRA Energy Group forecast suggesting Saudi Arabian production will rise to an average 10.5 million barrels a day this quarter, is inaccurate, the person said. The prediction was reported earlier today by Reuters.

Gary Ross, chief executive officer at PIRA in New York, declined to comment when his office was contacted by Bloomberg News today.

The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The group will next meet in Vienna on Dec. 4.

OPEC’s total crude production increased 116,000 barrels a day in August from July, to 31.04 million barrels a day, with Saudi Arabian production rising 150,000 barrels a day to 9.95 million barrels a day, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers, companies and analysts published today.

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

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

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