Saudi Arabia has pressed independent energy analysts to alter their estimates of its oil production, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could put it in conflict with other members of the fractious Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The world’s largest oil CLU8, -0.07% LCOV8, +0.10% exporter has told OPEC it cut output in July, according to delegates, but estimates from the U.S. government and independent agencies say it boosted production—amounting to a huge difference of as much as half a million barrels a day.
The data showing differing trends between official and independent estimates of Saudi output is set to be published Monday in the cartel’s monthly report, potentially causing confusion in trading markets about how much oil is reaching consumers.
“The Saudis have been giving the impression they know what they are doing...They could lose credibility,” said John Hall, chairman of U.K. consultancy Alfa Energy. “It could increase volatility” in prices.
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