Saudi Arabia Vows to Keep on Pumping Oil

Saudi Arabia Vows to Keep on Pumping OilSaudi Arabia Vows to Keep on Pumping Oil

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, pledged to supply as much oil as its customers need and doesn’t anticipate any weakening in that demand.

The country won’t cut output unless customers refuse to buy its crude, Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in Berlin on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. That’s unlikely to happen because it is the world’s “most reliable supplier,” he said.

Oil demand is growing and Al-Naimi said he was unaware of any plans for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to meet before its next scheduled gathering in June.

Brent crude, a global benchmark, fell by 61 percent between June and January as the US pumped the most oil in three decades and Saudi Arabia led OPEC in maintaining output. Oil producers globally have a responsibility to manage supply and demand, Al-Naimi said in response to questions after giving a speech in the German city.

While Saudi Aramco, the state-run oil company, increased the official selling prices (OSPs) for its benchmark Arab Light crude to Asian buyers by the most in three years on Tuesday, it’s still selling the grade at the biggest discount for the time of year since at least 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Arab country raised all US-bound crude prices by $1 a barrel and hiked extra-light crude oil to Asia by $1.40 a barrel, in a vote of confidence oil demand is growing in two of its biggest markets following the price crash since June. Saudi also raised extra-light crude oil prices to northwest Europe and the Mediterranean by 30 cents.

While the increase was largely anticipated by traders amid other signs of robust demand, it bolsters the impression Saudi Arabia is comfortable with the rebound in Brent crude to around $60 a barrel after hitting a six-year low of $45 in January.

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members sharply cut OSPs in 2014 as the group decided to fight fast-growing US shale producers for market share, abandoning its policy of adjusting production to underpin prices.