According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Saudi Arabia has boosted its oil output to compensate for shortages in global crude supply caused by the unrest in Libya. Reports confirm that Saudi officials have met with European refiners to discuss the amount of oil required to fill the shortfall, estimated to be 1.2 million barrels of oil per day. An IEA spokesman released a statement claiming that there's "every indication that increased volumes are now being made available to the market".
Prior to the onset of the Libyan protests, Saudi Arabia claimed it retains sufficient spare oil capacity to crank out four million barrels of crude per day. Not everyone is certain this capacity actually exists, but Ali Naimi, the nation's oil minister, made it known that Saudi Arabia is standing by to use this excess capacity:
Oil crisis averted... at least for now.We have done this so many times, responding to emerging crises on the side of supply. We have enough credence to tell you that we will meet any shortage. I want this to be transmitted to the markets so people can sleep tonight.
[Source: Financial Times | Image: nestor galina – C.C. License 2.0]