Production reached pre-sanctions levels of 3.6 million barrels a day in April and maintained that level in May REUTERS
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Expanding fuel shipments from the Gulf will intensify competition from Europe to Asia, squeezing profits across the global refining industry and contributing to a looming glut of oil products.Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi have built export-oriented refineries with a combined capacity of almost 1.4 million barrels a day over the last four years, and the Gulf region is already selling diesel in Europe.While the Middle East's ability to pump oil has historically run far ahead of its ability to refine it, the region has expanded processing capacity by about 20 percent since 2013 and state oil companies are enlarging or upgrading plants to produce cleaner-burning fuels to help diversify local economies.Saudi Arabia plans to double refining capacity to as much as 10 million barrels a day within 10 years, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has said. Refiners in China and the Middle East will add more than half of the forecast 7 million barrels a day of new capacity by 2022, the International Energy Agency said in its 2017 Oil Market report released this month.
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