Saudi state oil giant Aramco on Monday announced that production has started at a new oilfield in the eastern region of Manifa, with output expected to reach 0.5 million barrels per day by July.
The Manifa field went on line on April 10, three months ahead of schedule, and the targeted full capacity is 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) of heavy crude by the end of next year, it said.
"Saudi Aramco's maximum sustained capacity will be maintained at the level preceding Manifa production," the company said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia has proven oil reserves of 265 billion barrels, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
In October 2012, Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said its production at the time was running at between 9.7 and 9.9 million bpd, with a high point for last year of 10.1 million bpd.
Saudi Arabia in March last year reportedly became the world's largest oil producer after increasing its production to 9.923 million bpd, topping Russia's output of 9.920 million bpd.