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DUBAI, March 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco said on Monday it was likely to sustain higher oil output planned for April through into May, and that it was "very comfortable" with a price of $30 a barrel.
Aramco said last week it would be raising its output in April to a record 12.3 million barrels per day in a fight for market share with Russia that has helped to hammer global oil prices.
"In a nutshell, Saudi Aramco can sustain the very low price and can sustain it for a long time," Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Monday during a full-year earnings call with investors and analysts. "For the production in May ... I doubt it would be any different from next month."
CFO Khalid al-Dabbagh said Aramco was "very comfortable" with $30 a barrel and would still be able to meet its dividend commitments and shareholder expectations at that price.
Nasser said the state oil giant would draw 300,000 bpd from its huge inventories to hit that record supply next month, and could sustain its maximum output of 12 million bpd for a year with no need for further spending.
He also said Aramco was currently evaluating boosting its output potential by another 1 million bpd to 13 million bpd.
Oil has fallen 39% to $31 a barrel since talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers on March 6 collapsed without a deal to deepen or extend output cuts that had been in effect since 2017.
Saudi Arabia wanted a deeper output cut to support prices, which had been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but Russia rejected the proposal. (Additional reporting by Dahlia Nehme and Yousef Saba; Editing by Kevin Liffey)