Monday, January 12, 2009

Saudi to cut output below OPEC target: Reuters

LONDON and DUBAI — Top exporter Saudi Arabia plans to cut oil output by up to 300,000 barrels per day below its agreed OPEC target – a pro-active step to prop up a collapsing market, industry sources said on Sunday.

OPEC's most influential member has lowered supply this month to 8 million bpd, meeting its target under OPEC's pact to reduce overall production by a record amount from Jan. 1.

But strict Saudi discipline has failed to boost oil prices – which at close to $40 are far from the $75 a barrel named by Saudi King Abdullah as a fair price. So Riyadh is prepared, from February, to go beyond what is required by OPEC, the sources said.

“We've been told Saudi Arabia will cut to about 7.7 million in February,” said a senior oil executive. “They want to prevent a huge stock build up and a further decline in the oil price.”

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