February 18, 2015 / 6:21 PM / 4 years ago

Saudi Arabia's oil output rising, at about 10 million bpd: PIRA

(Reuters) - Production from Saudi Arabia is rising, and demand has pushed it up to about 10 million barrels per day (bpd), according to energy consultancy PIRA.

The estimate suggested the country is hewing tightly to the strategy of protecting market share rather than cutting production to try to inflate prices.

Saudi production averaged about 9.7 million bpd since last June, according to the consultancy. “Additional demand has pushed output to just under, if not above, 10 MMB/D,” PIRA said in a weekly note.

The country’s rising production boosted OPEC’s oil supply in January, according to a Reuters survey earlier this month, a sign that key members are standing firm in refusing to prop up prices.

Oil prices fell by 60 percent between June and January, and have remained low as oversupply trumped concerns about supply disruptions. Output in top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia has been flat to slightly higher, sources said.

The estimates from PIRA and the Reuters survey contrasted with data released on Wednesday from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative, which showed the country’s production holding at about 9.6 million bpd in December.

Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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