Saudi Arabia says it can flood the market with a lot more oil.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said The Kingdom could increase output to 11.5 million barrels a day right away, and up to 12.5 million within six to nine months “if we wanted to.”
“I don’t suggest that we should produce more, but we can produce more,” he said.
“We can produce 20 million barrels of oil per day if we invested in production capacity, but we can’t produce beyond 20 million,” he added.
Data compiled by Bloomberg indicates the Saudis produced about 10.2 million barrels a day in March.
These comments come ahead of Sunday’s meeting among oil producers in Doha, Qatar to discuss a potential production freeze.
Notably, most analysts aren’t getting their hopes up ahead of the talks. The Saudis keep reiterating that they won’t cut production unless others (read: Iran) do, too — but Iran’s oil minister isn’t even going to the meeting.
“As it stands now, we believe that the most likely outcome is that producers fail to close the deal and announce a freeze on Sunday, but that they instead pledge to continue to conversation and even possibly put an additional OPEC/non-OPEC meeting on the calendar for later in the year,” Helima Croft, the head of commodities research at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.
“Saudi Arabia and Iran do not appear ready to give sufficient ground to get a comprehensive freeze agreement done by Sunday, given current information,” she explained.