Kuwait, Saudi Arabia boost oil output

Filed on September 5, 2011

DUBAI Kuwait pumped more than 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil throughout August, state news agency KUNA on Sunday reported oil minister Mohammad Al Busairi as saying, the highest level since the global economic downturn in late 2008.

Kuwait has not produced over 2.80 million bpd since its output peaked at 2.85 million bpd in September 2008, according to official data provided by the Joint Data Initiative (JODI), just before oil demand dipped in the global economic crisis.

With Libyan crude exports hit by civil war and oil prices racing higher on buoyant demand in Asia, Gulf OPEC producers have upped production over the last few months after failing to convince other members like Iran and Venezuela to agree to higher output targets at OPEC’s last meeting in early June.

Busairi said the Gulf oil increases — with Kuwaiti production up from 2.55 million bpd in May — had helped temper oil price rises and said Kuwait could pump more.

“Had not a number of OPEC members, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, increased their oil production, prices would have jumped way above the current level,” Mohammad Al Baseeri told the official KUNA news agency.

“Without this measure, oil prices would have shot above current levels causing a global crisis and contributing to a recession in the global economy which is still recovering from the impact of the 2008 crisis,” he said.

Kuwait currently has the capacity to produce up to 3.05 million bpd, he said.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) overall output is thought to have hit its highest level in almost three years in August, according to a Reuters survey.

Kuwait produced just 2.31 million bpd in August 2010, after output hit a low of 2.23 million bpd in August 2009.

Output has recovered strongly since November 2010 as rising demand from Asia, Kuwait’s biggest buyers, and the loss of output from Libya has raised the call on Kuwaiti wells.

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