Saudi Arabia ready to pump more oil
Jeddah, June 22, 2008
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said the kingdom is ready to pump more than 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil for the rest of this year if there is demand.
'Given our current spare capacity, today I would like to state that for the remainder of this year Saudi Arabia is prepared and willing to produce additional barrels of crude oil above and beyond the 9.7 million barrels per day which we plan to produce during the month of July, if demand for such quantities materialises and our customers tell us they are needed,' Al-Naimi said in a speech to the meeting of oil producer and consumer countries in Jeddah.
If crude oil demand were sufficient, Al-Naimi said Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, could add an extra 2.5 million bpd of capacity above a current plan to reach 12.5 million bpd by the end of next year.
'We have identified a series of future crude oil mega-increments totalling another 2.5 million barrels per day of capacity that could be built if and when crude oil demand warrant their development.'
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the world's top oil producers and consumers now agree that oil prices hovering near a $140 a barrel record are too high, signalling a change of heart by producers.
'What we've got here ... is agreement that the oil price is too high,' Brown told a briefing on the sidelines of emergency talks in Jeddah.
'The significance is that the producers are saying this, that the current oil price is detrimental and that it is causing serious damage, that the current price is too high.'
When major oil producers and consumers met in April, as oil prices traded at around $120 a barrel, there had been no public agreement that prices were too high.
While both sides fear the damage that soaring prices could wreak on the world economy, big producers also worry that high prices could drive investment into alternative fuels that would eventually undermine demand for their crude oil. - Reuters