Exclusive: Saudi oil output to return faster than first thought - sources

FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s oil output will be fully restored quicker than thought following weekend attacks on production facilities, two sources briefed on developments said on Tuesday, taking two or three weeks not months as initial indications suggested.

The kingdom is close to restoring 70% of the 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) production lost due to the attacks, said one of the sources, a top Saudi official briefed on progress.

That source said state-run Saudi Aramco’s output would be fully back online in the next two to three weeks.

On Monday, two sources briefed on the company’s operations had said a full return to normal oil production volumes “may take months.”

Oil prices, which had soared almost 20% on Monday, fell sharply on Tuesday. Brent crude LCOc1 was down $3.72, or 5.4%, at $65.30 a barrel by 1350 GMT.

Reporting by Alex Lawler and Dmitry Zhdannikov, Editing by Veronica Brown and Edmund Blair