Saudi Aramco Restores Oil Production Capacity To Pre-Attack Levels
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Sep 25, 2019, 11:00 AM CDT
Saudi Aramco has restored Saudi Arabia’s oil production capacity to 11.3 million bpd—the level before the attacks on oil facilities ten days ago, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing three sources with knowledge of the Kingdom’s oil company’s operations.
Separately, people familiar with the situation at Aramco told Bloomberg on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is recovering from the September 14 attacks faster than expected—about a week faster than Saudi officials have given as a date to recover the full capacity, the end of September.
The attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure on September 14 knocked 5.7 million bpd—or 5 percent of global oil supply—offline. The market initially panicked, with prices jumping the most on record last Monday, until Saudi Arabia started to insist through official statements and sources that it would fully restore oil supply by the end of September.
Despite continued reports that the Saudis would struggle to restore oil supply by the end of this month as they had promised and that repairs would likely take months rather than weeks, a source told Reuters on Monday that the Kingdom would fully restore by early next week the oil production lost in the attacks.
As of Monday, Saudi Arabia was said to have restored 75 percent of the production lost in the attacks. Output at the Khurais oil field was more than 1.3 million bpd as of Monday, while production from Abqaiq stood at around 3 million bpd.
According Reuters’ sources today, production at the Abqaiq plant is around 4.9 million bpd now.
Reports of the Saudis restoring capacity faster than indicated combined with renewed fears that a protracted U.S.-China trade war would further dent oil demand and with a surprise crude oil inventory build estimated by the API to weigh down on oil prices early on Wednesday. As of 07:07 a.m. EDT, WTI Crude was down 1.38 percent at $56.50, while Brent Crude was trading down 1.46 percent at $61.21.