Mr Falih’s comments came on 3 October at the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, where the minister claimed that output has hit 10.7mn b/d this month and that November output should be higher still. Of course, output levels over just two and a half days are often misleading and time will tell whether this will be sustained over the course of October.

Certainly the kingdom’s much-touted production increases following June’s Opec meeting fell short of expectations as an initial 380,000 b/d June surge failed to ignite further gains (MEES, 10 August). This sparked renewed debate over the viability of Saudi Arabia’s much vaunted but never tested 12.5mn b/d claimed production capacity. (CONTINUED - 1486 WORDS)