Saudi says ready to supply Asia with more oil
Jeddah, April 9, 2011
Saudi Arabia is ready to supply Asia with more oil thanks to unmatched spare output capacity that allows it to counter any rise in demand or drop in supplies, Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi was quoted as saying by the state news agency on Saturday.
He said the kingdom was ready to supply South Korea, Asia and other consuming nations with the 'volumes needed as it has huge spare capacity to meet any rise in global oil demand or a decline in supplies'.
The kingdom raised its output to around 9 million barrels per day (bpd) to help compensate for disruption of supply from fellow Opec producer Libya. It holds 3.5 million bpd of spare capacity -- or oil that can be swiftly added to the market.
Al-Naimi did not give an updated figure for spare capacity or how much oil the kingdom was producing.
Since the unrest in Libya, Riyadh promised it would meet any shortage in supply with a new oil blend close to the Libyan crude.
It has sold European buyers around two million barrels of its new crude blend for March-loading to compensate for lost Libyan barrels.
Al-Naimi also said on SPA that the oil market was balanced and the commercial stocks were at an adequate level.
Oil prices surged the most in three weeks on Friday, with Brent jumping $4 a barrel to a 32-month high as a sinking dollar triggered a fresh rush of fund buying across the commodities spectrum.
Al-Naimi said oil prices were driven primarily by speculation and misinformation and the unjustified fear about supply and demand.
Al-Naimi's views echoed those of some of his fellow Opec ministers on Wednesday that the oil market was divorced from the realities of supply and demand, driven by political upheaval, fear and financial speculation. – Reuters