The OPEC kingpin has been ramping up output since July, partly to meet rising export commitments and coinciding with the high summer demand season.

Gulf sources say the output boost was not related to outages in Libya but rather stronger than anticipated demand in Asia. MEES estimates put Saudi crude oil output at 10.05mn b/d in August, when use of crude oil for direct burn in power stations is at its highest. Some 190,000 b/d of fuel oil displaced crude oil for direct burn in July, freeing up more crude for export (MEES, 23 August). (CONTINUED - 1699 WORDS)