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With World in Energy Shock, Saudi Oil Cushion Gets Very Thin

How much Saudi Arabia can really pump is an industry secret

When French President Emmanuel Macron whispered in Joe Biden's ear last month that top global oil exporter Saudi Arabia has very little additional capacity to increase output, the U.S. President looked surprised.

Biden is due to land in Riyadh later this month, and he will likely hear the same sobering message – don't count much on Saudi Arabia to help replace Russian oil.

How much Saudi Arabia – seen as the "central bank" of global oil - can really pump is an industry secret and skepticism on this usually grows at times of high oil prices and strained global production. The kingdom, which says it can pump 12 million barrels per day, has regularly proved its doubters wrong in the past.

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