August 29, 2013 / 1:46 PM / 4 years ago

Saudi Arabia lifts oil output to record 10.5 mln bpd, PIRA says

LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is set to pump 10.5 million barrels a day of crude in the third quarter, a million bpd increment over the second quarter and its highest quarterly level of production ever, leading U.S. energy consultancy PIRA said.

"The reason they're producing that much is simple - the world needs the oil," said PIRA CEO Gary Ross.

"This is the tightest physical balance on the world oil market I've seen for a long time." PIRA reported its estimate to clients earlier this week.

Libyan oil output has fallen from 1.4 million bpd to just 250,000 bpd after protesters shut oilfields.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest producer, is the only oil producer with any significant spare capacity.

Ross said about 400,000 bpd of the incremental supply would go to feed domestic Saudi power usage during peak summer demand. (reporting by Richard Mably, editing by William Hardy)

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