Reuters: Saudi Arabia and UAE are hoarding excess oil production capacity in case of a possible crisis in the winter

Informed sources said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are ready to pump up a “significant increase” in oil production if the world faces a major supply crisis this winter, which will happen the day after the meeting of the OPEC group.

And when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its so-called OPEC+ allies decided to raise production by just 100,000 bpd, it broke one of the rules with a rare reference to the group’s surplus. productive capacity.

The statement cited “extremely limited” spare production capacity and spoke of the need to maintain it in anticipation of “serious supply disruptions”.

On the face of it, this is an admission that there is little room for Saudi Arabia to increase production, as French President Emmanuel Macron said in a conversation with US President Joe Biden last month.

The three sources said Saudi Arabia and the UAE could pump “much more” but would only do so if the supply crisis escalated. “Given the possibility of a lack of gas in Europe this winter and the possibility of introducing a price cap on the sale of Russian oil in the new year, we cannot now pump every barrel of oil into the market,” one of the sources said. .

The sources did not specify the size of any increase, but said Saudi Arabia, the UAE and some other OPEC members have between 2 and 2.7 million barrels per day of spare capacity.

“The only time we can prove that we have spare production capacity is when it comes to a long-term crisis,” the source said, adding that this will happen when the OPEC countries raise production.

It may not be until winter, sources said, with no sign of easing in the political and economic crisis between OPEC+ member Russia and the West.

Source: Reuters.

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