Saudi To Produce 9 Million BPD This Year

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Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, will pump 9 million barrels of oil per day this year as the kingdom looks to meet rising demand and take advantage of surging oil prices. National Commercial Bank, Saudi's largest bank by assets, said the average price for Saudi crude is expected to reach $95 per barrel, according to Bloomberg News.

Saudi produced about 9 million barrels per day in February but scaled that production back by a roughly 800,000 barrels per day in March due to oversupply. The country boosted production in April with output rising back to 8.5 million barrels per day. Exports were also higher in April than they were in February and March.

One source with knowledge of the matter said Saudi will only increase production to help meet supply shortages or to meet increased demand, not to exploit higher prices, according to Asia One. Saudi had sold 2 million barrels of a special blend of crude to compensate for the high-quality Libyan barrels lost, Asia One reported.

Amid a slumping U.S. dollar and gasoline prices that hover at or above $4 per gallon in much of the U.S., consumers have been urging producers to increase output for much of 2011.