Riyadh makes good on oil word

June 1, 2012 at 5:34 AM

WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia is making good on commitments to keep global markets well supplied with crude oil, an analyst said.

Oil production from Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, reached 9.9 million barrels per day in May, the largest level in more than 20 years, Bloomberg News reports.

Oil prices spiked at the beginning of the year on concerns Iran would choke off key supply lanes through the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions related to its nuclear program. Saudi officials had said there would be ample supplies to account for any shortage, however.

"The Saudis are making it abundantly clear that they will keep the market well supplied," Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research in Massachusetts, told Bloomberg.

Among the top OPEC producers, production from Iran fell 50,000 bpd to 3.23 million, its lowest level since 1992. Iraq saw production decline by 45,000 bpd to 2.94 million in May.

Nigerian oil production rose to 2.18 million bpd in May and Libyan oil production passed January 2011 levels to hit the 1.4 million bpd mark last month.

Oil production from Libya dropped to 45,000 bpd in August because of war, sparking fears an oil shortage could trigger another global economic recession.

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