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Saudi denies it plans oil production increase with OPEC+

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister Reuters/ Ahmed Yosri
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Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has denied reports that the kingdom is discussing a major increase in daily oil production with OPEC+ partners.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) suggested this week that Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC+ are considering a 500,000 barrel per day (bpd) increase in output to coincide with a significant reduction in Russian oil availability on global markets.

OPEC+ is next due to meet on December 4, with an EU embargo on Russian oil set to come into force the following day.

The G7 is also in the latter stages of discussing a price cap on Russian oil imports, set to begin on December 5.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister, refuted the WSJ’s claim and instead suggested that further reductions could be possible.

“It is well known, and no secret, that OPEC+ does not discuss any decisions ahead of its meetings,” he said.

“The current cut of two million barrels per day by OPEC+ continues until the end of 2023 and if there is a need to take further measures by reducing production to balance supply and demand, we always remain ready to intervene.”

Saudi Arabia was accused by the US of undermining the Western effort to isolate Russia and its economy when it announced, with partners, the two million bpd production cut in October.

The kingdom denied the cut had anything to do with the war and was instead fuelled by domestic economic considerations.

Oil prices have fallen by more than 10 percent since the start of November.