Saudi Arabia pumped 9.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in May, cutting output by 300,000 bpd from the month before, an industry source said.
Saudi Arabia's oil production was 10.1 million bpd in April, its highest for more than 30 years, as it bid to meet growing demand and curb oil prices. Opec members will meet on June 14 in Vienna to review output policy.
The kingdom supplied 9.9 million bpd to the market in May, the source said. Supply was higher than production as the extra 100,000 bpd came from storage, said a report in our sister publicatuion the Gulf Daily News.
Oil prices slipped on Friday as the euro zone's debt crisis and dimming hopes for US monetary stimulus reinforced concern about petroleum demand, but disappointment about talks between Iran and the UN's nuclear agency limited losses.
Brent crude was trading just under $99 per barrel on Friday after dropping to a 16-month low below $96 a barrel last week.
Iran blamed Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE for the decline in global crude prices and accused the Gulf states of over-producing, state news agency IRNA reported yesterday quoting Iran's Opec governor Mohammed Ali Khatibi.
Ahead of the Opec meeting, Algerian Oil Minister Youcef Yousfi said in Kuala Lumpur the market could cope with a drop in Iranian supply.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's annual inflation eased to a nine-month low of 5.1 per cent in May, despite a slight rise in food and housing prices, official data showed yesterday.
Consumer prices slowed to 5.1 per cent in May from 5.3 per cent in the same month a year earlier, while monthly inflation remained unchanged from April at 0.2 per cent, data from the Central Department of Statistics showed.
Food prices increased by 0.1 per cent and housing and rental items rose by 0.2 per cent. Home repairs, fuel and water supply prices remained unchanged for the month while furnishing and kitchen appliances prices have declined by 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.