Saudi Arabia is signaling that it is going to boost its supply of oil on its own after failing to convince other oil producers to jointly agree to more production.
Several news agencies reported Saturday that the Saudis could increase their oil production by as much as 13 percent in the coming days to 10 million barrels a day or more. The Saudi newspaper Al-Hayat reported that most of the additional output would go to China and other expanding Asian economies.
But the increase in the amount of oil on the world market would tend to trim the price of crude, benefiting all consuming nations.
Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia was not successful in its bid to convince a majority of the other 11 countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase their production. Saudi Arabia contended that the increased production is needed to meet the rising world demand for oil and account for the loss of crude on the global market because of Libya's cut in production during the current uprising.
Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil producer. It is a major exporter to the United States, which is heavily dependent on oil to help fuel the world's largest economy. But the high cost of crude - hovering near $100 a barrel on the New York market - has slowed the recovery from the global recession in the U.S. and elsewhere.