Russia and Saudi Arabia—the world’s two biggest oil producers—indicated Friday they weren’t pulling back from huge crude output levels that have helped send prices tumbling. Russia said it produced oil in September at levels not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union, pumping an average of 10.74 million barrels a day, government data showed on Friday. Oil production increased 0.4% from August.
On the same day, one of the world’s most influential oil ministers—Saudi Arabia’s Ali al-Naimi—said his country would continue investing in oil and gas, saying his country remained committed to energy resource development, according to a Saudi Press Agency report. The world’s largest exporter has ramped up production above 10 million barrels a day for the past few months.
The output from those two countries adds to an already oversupplied global oil market, even with American output showing signs of weakness. Oil prices have fallen more than 50% in the past year as world supplies outpace demand by around 2 million barrels on any given day. On Friday, they turned higher as weekly data showed a sharp drop in U.S. drilling activity.
It is also the latest indication that Russia isn’t prepared to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in trimming production to prop up prices. OPEC has indicated that it will only consider a cut if other big suppliers, such as Russia, join it and several OPEC members have tried to woo the country.
Mr. Naimi, speaking at a Group of 20 conference of government energy officials in Turkey, again called on non-OPEC countries to help it “stabilize the market,” though he didn’t name Russia.
“Since the 1970s this industry has been experiencing sharp fluctuations in prices—up and down—which have impacted investments in the field of oil and energy, and its continuity,” Mr. Naimi said, according to Saudi Press Agency. “This volatile situation is neither in the interest of the producing nor consuming countries, and the G-20 countries can contribute to the stability of the market.”