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Saudis Stress Oil Actions Are Important, Not Words

If Saudi Arabia raised oil production to 9 million barrels per day, then they've chosen a good time to do it.

AP

Friday in Riyadh is the day of congregational prayer. Everything is very quiet.

It's like being in the City of London early on a Sunday morning in the middle of a bank holiday weekend.

Trying to speak to anyone at the Ministry of oil and petroleum is impossible and that may be the way the Saudi's like it.

Since I've been here, I have repeatedly been told that if Saudi needs to act to replace lost production elsewhere it will do so.

Today the message is: it's not our words that are important, but our actions.

And the numbers appear to stack up.

Reuters estimated Saudi Jan oil output of 8.3 million barrels per day, so that would mean we've got a 700,000-barrels-per-day increase. Central estimates put the Libyan output cut at 60 percent.

Earlier this week I was told Libya has around 1.2 million barrels per day in exports, out of a total of 1.6 million in production.

Sixty percent of 1.2 million is 720,000, almost exactly the extra amount Saudi could now be pumping.

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