Bad timing: Big Oil ramps up output just as prices sink
* Nine oil majors' output up a combined 8 pct this year
* The increase is equivalent to about 10 pct of world output
* Growth set to slow as spending is cut
By Ron Bousso
LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - After years of declining output, major oil companies have ramped up crude production this year, just as they are being battered by a plunge in prices due to already excessive supplies.
Executives have taken pride in seeing billions worth of investments in new technologies and new fields in places such as Brazil, the North Sea and West Africa kick in and boost output.
But most of the investment was made three to five years ago when oil was about $100 a barrel, around double current levels.
Now, the new production is contributing to a glut in supply due mostly to the North American shale boom, a faltering global economy and OPEC's decision not to cut output.
Recent third-quarter results show the scale of the problem. Continuación...