Saudi Aramco restores oil output earlier than expected: Sources

Workers are seen at the damaged site of the Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Sept 20, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Saudi Arabia has restored its oil production capacity to 11.3 million barrels per day, three sources briefed on Saudi Aramco's operations told Reuters, maintaining a faster than expected recovery after the Sept 14 attacks on its oil facilities.

Crude output from the Khurais field is now at 1.3 million bpd and the Abqaiq plant is currently at about 4.9 million bpd, the sources said. On Monday, sources had said Abqaiq production was about 3 million bpd.

The Sept 14 attacks on the two plants caused a spike in oil prices, fires and damage that halved the crude output of the world's top oil exporter, by shutting down 5.7 million bpd of production.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and the chief executive of state oil company Aramco, Amin Nasser have said output will be fully back online by the end of September.

The attacks initially sent oil prices up 20 per cent although they dropped soon after as the kingdom pledged to bring back output swiftly. On Wednesday (Sept 25), crude was down over US$1 a barrel to around US$62.

The kingdom has managed to maintain supplies to customers at levels prior to the attacks by drawing from its huge oil inventories and offering other crude grades from other fields, Saudi officials said.

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