Saudi Arabia has increased its oil production to an all-time high in November as US President Donald Trump stepped up pressure on the country to prevent it from applying output cuts at next week’s OPEC meeting.
The meeting will see OPEC members discuss ways to bring an end to the recent decline in oil prices and will take place just days after world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Donald Trump, meet at the G20 summit in Argentina this week.
Saudi Arabia agreed to increase output in June after the US, and other leading consumers, sought to cool prices and address shortages in global supply after the US imposed sanctions on Iran.
However, the sanctions from Washington were softer than expected, which lead to oil prices plummeting to below $60 from highs of $85 reached in October.
An industry source familiar with the matter said Saudi output reached between 11.1 – 11.3 million barrels per day this month, although the exact average will not be known until the month is over.
These figures are 0.5 million bpd higher than the previous month and over 1 million higher than early 2018, when Saudi Arabia was cutting output along with other OPEC members.
Although Saudi Arabia is the ultimate oil policy maker, Saudi watchers have noted that the Prince will avoid confrontation with Washington, including that related to oil prices.
Meanwhile analysts believe the G20 summit will act as a catalyst for a recovery in oil prices.