September 25, 2019 / 9:13 AM / 24 days ago

Saudi Aramco restores oil output earlier than expected: sources

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Khurais, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad l Mohammed/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has restored its oil production capacity to 11.3 million barrels per day, three sources briefed on Saudi Aramco’s operations told Reuters, maintaining a faster than expected recovery after the Sept. 14 attacks on its oil facilities.

Crude output from the Khurais field is now at 1.3 million bpd and the Abqaiq plant is currently at about 4.9 million bpd, the sources said. On Monday, sources had said Abqaiq production was about 3 million bpd.

The Sept. 14 attacks on the two plants caused a spike in oil prices, fires and damage that halved the crude output of the world’s top oil exporter, by shutting down 5.7 million bpd of production.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and the chief executive of state oil company Aramco, Amin Nasser, have said output will be fully back online by the end of September.

The attacks initially sent oil prices up 20% although they dropped soon after as the kingdom pledged to bring back output swiftly. On Wednesday, crude LCOc1 was down over $1 a barrel to around $62.

The kingdom has managed to maintain supplies to customers at levels prior to the attacks by drawing from its huge oil inventories and offering other crude grades from other fields, Saudi officials said.

Writing by Alex Lawler, Editing by Louise Heavens

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