Saudi cuts oil output to 9.8 mln bpd in July: source

Oil tanks at the area of the OMV refinery are pictured in Schwechat, some 16 km (10 miles) east of Vienna August 8, 2012. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

DUBAI: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia pumped 9.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in July, cutting output by 300,000 bpd from June, an industry source said on Thursday.

The OPEC heavyweight supplied 9.7 million bpd to the market in July, while 100,000 bpd of the output was sent to storage, the source added.

Internal demand for Saudi crude rises sharply in the hot summer months from June to August. Export volumes were not available.

Saudi oil production climbed to 10.1 million bpd in April, its highest for more than 30 years at a time when supplies from Iran have been falling due to a European Union oil embargo that took effect on July 1.

After a brief fall in May, Saudi production bounced back to 10.1 million bpd in June.

OPEC ministers at a meeting in mid-June said they would adhere to a collective production limit of 30 million bpd, implying a 1.6 million bpd cut from actual supply of 31.5 million, and Saudi Arabia was expected to make a sizeable contribution to that cut.

The 12-member OPEC group's collective output fell further from its highest in four years in July, according to a Reuters survey, as Iran's supplies fell to the lowest in more than two decades due to Western sanctions.

Crude prices fell below $90 a barrel in June, as Saudi Arabia kept its output at multi-decade highs and also due to gloomy economic outlook.

But Brent has bounced above $110 a barrel since then. On Thursday it traded just below $112 a barrel on hopes that China will roll out more stimulus measures to boost its slowing economy and fuel demand within the world's second-largest oil consumer.





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