Well, it's pretty neck-snapping trying to follow global events at the moment. A couple of days ago, there was an epidemic of whining about how raising Saudi production couldn't help offset Libyan production, and the Saudis hadn't decided what to do. Then, this morning, there are anonymous reports from Saudi insiders that Saudi Arabia has actually already raised production at or above 9mbd:
Saudi Arabia has increased its oil production to more than 9 million barrels per day (bpd) to compensate for disruption to Libyan output, an industry source familiar with the kingdom's production told Reuters on Friday.
"We have started producing over 9 million barrels per day (bpd). We have a lot of production capacity," the source said, but said he could not say when the change had taken place.
Oil prices spiked to a 2-1/2 year peak of nearly $120 a barrel LCOc1 on Thursday, stoked by concern the wave of revolutionary unrest gripping world No.12 oil exporter Libya could spread to big oil producing countries in the Middle East.
A report out of Washington by industry publication Energy Intelligence late on Thursday said Saudi Arabia had made the change quietly to try to avoid stoking regional tensions.
"The Saudi move has not been announced publicly, most likely because of the political sensitivities in the region and the internal dynamics of OPEC," Energy Intelligence wrote.
Who knows if this is true or not? At any rate, the graph above shows what this would look like in the context of recent Saudi production (which was already seeming to creep up in recent months).
In response, Brent prices seem roughly stable this morning.