Saudi Energy Minister: Ready to Raise or Lower Production at Any Time, Whatever Market Dictates
Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman confirmed the Kingdom’s readiness to raise or lower oil production at any time, according to market requirements.
Speaking at the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC), Prince Abdulaziz said the decision to halt Aramco’s oil expansion plans was due to the transformation in energy.
The Minister said the Kingdom had a “huge cushion” of spare oil capacity in case of significant disruptions to global supplies caused by conflict or natural disasters.
He also confirmed that the OPEC+ alliance is ready to amend its oil production policy at any time, noting that OPEC’s data on production is accurate.
OPEC figures show oil demand reached a record of more than 102 million barrels per day (bpd) last year.
“We are ready to tweak upward, downward, whatever the market necessity dictates,” Prince Abdulaziz said, underlining that OPEC’s mission is to be attentive to any market movement.
He stressed that Saudi Arabia respects OPEC’s decisions regarding oil stability in global markets, asserting the Kingdom’s commitment to the organization’s decisions.
The Saudi Minister stressed that achieving energy security is the responsibility of all OPEC nations and oil-producing countries, not just Saudi Arabia’s.
Saudi Arabia has plenty of spare capacity to cushion the oil market.
Last month, Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporting country in the world, made a surprise announcement to reduce its oil expansion plans and indicated that it is targeting a maximum sustained production capacity of 12 million bpd.
“I think we postponed this investment simply because … we’re transitioning,” Prince Abdulaziz said, adding that Aramco has other investments in areas including oil, gas, petrochemicals, and renewables.
The minister noted that the decision was not made hastily and was the product of a continuous review of market conditions.
“We are in [a] continuous mode of reviewing and reviewing and reviewing, simply because you have to view the realities [of the market],” he said.
He explained that maintaining the maximum sustained production capacity of 12 million bpd is due to the transitioning process.
Prince Abdulaziz said Saudi Arabia will become the country that exploits all energy resources, announcing that the Kingdom is currently working on issuing tenders for about 30 gigawatts of solar energy.
“Because we are transitioning, we will save approximately 950k-1mn b/d of consumed crude, diesel, and fuel oil… simply because we are transitioning to renewables and gas.”
He added: “We respect OPEC’s decisions regarding oil stability in global markets,” noting that Saudi Arabia will become the country exploiting all global energy resources.
Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser expected oil demand to increase to 104 million bpd this year and 105 million bpd in 2025, downplaying suggestions that it will peak soon.
During his participation at the IPTC, Nasser said energy consumption in 2025 will change completely, depending on supply and demand.
Aramco is fulfilling its promises to save energy and is looking to increase its capacity and daily production.
He added that Aramco is seeking to search for more sources and investors in hydrogen, gas, oil, and all energy sources, focusing on the primary mission, which is continuity of production and growth in gas, oil, and all energy sources.
Moreover, Nasser predicted development in all energy fields, such as hydrogen or gas, and highlighted the significant advancements in solar energy.
Aramco intends to invest in modern technologies and energy, he said, adding that Saudi Arabia is working to increase renewable energy production, support hydrogen, and provide and store energy.
Nasser announced that Aramco is looking for skills, innovation, and the ability to develop, revealing that the company may establish technical companies and profit-making institutions in various industries.
Saudi Arabia is hosting the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) at Dhahran Expo between February 12 and 14, with the participation of over 250 international companies.