Doubts abound over the veracity of Saudi Aramco’s claimed 12mn b/d production capacity, given that the kingdom has never produced close to this level. Production rose to a 21-month high of 10.48mn b/d in August and Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih says the kingdom has been producing 10.7mn b/d this month (MEES, 5 October).

Few doubt that it can push this to 11mn b/d, but 12mn b/d is another question. Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said this week that the firm can hit the mark within three...