Saudi Arabia plans to pump up to 11 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in July, the highest in its history, up from about 10.8 million bpd in June, an industry source familiar with Saudi oil production plans told Reuters on Tuesday.
OPEC agreed with Russia and other oil-producing allies on Saturday to raise output from July by about 1 million bpd, with Saudi Arabia pledging a “measurable” supply boost but giving no specific numbers.
The move by Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is a clear indication it is serious about bringing oil prices down, after major consumers such as the United States, China and India raised concerns that prices were rising too high, too quickly.
Benchmark oil prices jumped over 2 percent on Tuesday and U.S. crude topped $70 for the first time in two months, as Washington pushed allies to halt imports of Iranian crude.
Brent crude gained $1.30 to trade at $76.03 a barrel by 2:17 p.m. EDT (1817 GMT). U.S. light crude rose $2.08 to $70.16.
The United States is pushing countries to halt oil imports from Iran, OPEC’s third largest producer, from November, a senior State Department official said, and it will not grant any waivers to sanctions.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday the kingdom will increase output by hundreds of thousands of barrels, with exact figures to be decided later.
OPEC and non-OPEC said in their statement on Saturday that they would raise supply by returning to 100 percent compliance with previously agreed output cuts, after months of underproduction. That would mean a roughly 1 million bpd increase in output.
OPEC sources have said OPEC alone would produce around 770,000 bpd out of the 1 million bpd, with non-OPEC pumping about 185,000 bpd.