(MEBG ) – Oil prices remained on a rollercoaster at the end of last week, amid signs that Saudi Arabia is quietly leaking extra barrels of oil to the market, despite Opec's decision to delay a widely expected output hike. Sources said Riyadh told Gulf News that at Saudi Arabia had already opened its valves by 250,000 bpd and might double the extra volume in August .
However Ali Rodriguez, the Opec head, insisted that he had received Saudi assurances that the Saudia Arabia would not go it alone on an output increase. The organization insisted that its members were committed to the price band mechanism and were ready to jack up production if prices stayed high.
Opec's Vienna-based secretariat said on July 19 that Tuesday's basket price returned to $28.09, which according to the mechanism agreement would again set the 20-day clock ticking.
London's Brent Blend crude futures for September delivery slid to a low at $28.85 per barrel, before recovering back to $29.03, a loss of 29 cents. U.S. August benchmark crude futures slipped 34 cents to $31.60 per barrel after jumping $1.11 a day ago.
But sources say that Saudi Arabia does not want to offend Opec and wants to preserve its unity. At the same time, the kingdom appears to be sticking to its declaration to increase output and cool the market.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )