Saudi looks to ease global oil price fears

Saudi_oil_1Saudi Arabia is expanding its crude oil production and increasing its exports to the US in an attempt to ease fears that the global oil market is overheating.

According to a report by the official Saudi news agency, the Saudi cabinet released a statement vowing to "ensure adequate oil supply, stabilise (the) oil market and bring down oil prices to reasonable levels to both producers, consumers, and the petroleum industry".

"High oil prices . . . can lead to negative effects on the global economy," the cabinet added. The cabinet made the statement after reviewing the results of last week's international Energy Forum in Kuwait.

US imports increase

The plea by the US for Saudi Arabia to increase its oil output production seems to have been heard as the kingdom's shipments to the US have risen 25 per cent to the highest level since mid-2008, according to preliminary U.S. government data.

US imports of Saudi oil hit 1.5 million bpd in the first 10 weeks of 2012, up 300,000 bpd from the fourth quarter of 2011 and marking the largest rise in shipments since the second quarter of 2003.

The surge appears set to continue according to Reuters. Vela, Saudi Arabia's state oil tanker company, has booked at least nine very large crude carriers (VLCCs) capable of carrying 2mn barrels of crude each from the Middle East Gulf to the US.

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