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Saudis dampen US hopes for buying oil reserves

Saudi Arabia said publicly for the first time Tuesday that it was opposed to selling oil for stockpiling, apparently dashing US hopes of buying Saudi supplies for strategic reserves, "The government's policy is to meet real consumer demand in the world and not for the purpose of building reserves," the petroleum minister, Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, said.

He was also expected to announce that Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude oil exporter, has decided to maintain its current daily oil production of 9.5 million barrels. The present output, 1 million barrels above the normal daily average of 8.5 million barrels, was introduced last year to help offset shortages caused by the Iranian revolution.

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