Aramco to boost oil capacity after Saudi Arabia request

Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry has directed oil producer Saudi Aramco 2222.SE to raise its output capacity to 13 million from 12 million barrels per day (bpd), CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The company is exerting its maximum efforts to implement this directive as soon as possible,” Nasser added.

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would boost its oil supplies to a record high in April, raising the stakes in a standoff with Russia and effectively rebuffing Moscow’s suggestion for new talks.

Brent crude LCOc1 was trading at $36.77 per barrel, down 1.2%, at 0733 GMT.

Moscow said Russian oil companies might boost output by up to 300,000 bpd and could increase it by as much as 500,000 bpd, sending the Russian rouble and stocks plunging.

Riyadh’s unprecedented planned hike in supply follows the collapse of talks last week between members of the OPEC+ grouping, an informal alliance of OPEC states, Russia and other producers, that has propped up prices since 2016.

Russia rejected OPEC’s call to deepen existing supply cuts, prompting OPEC to scrap all production limits and Russia to say it would also boost output.

In response, crude prices briefly fell to almost $31, reviving fears of a 2014-style price crash.