Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, in an address in Texas yesterday to the World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas, declared that the energy industry faces four major challenges: an unprecedented increase in global demand for energy; depletion of traditional fossil energy sources in certain major consumption areas; increased strictness in administrative systems; and the need for investment in new resources. He nevertheless expressed optimism in the future of the oil industry. Citing figures, he showed that there is no alternative to oil, which will remain the main source of energy for the coming twenty-five years. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, he said, possess huge oil reserves that will help meet the expected demand, adding that the Kingdom has the capability of increasing its production to as much as 15 million bpd and maintain this for fifty years or more.
[See press release]
Minister Al-Naimi intimated that Saudi Arabia is ready to invest in the construction of new oil refineries in the United States to help solve the problem of supply in U.S. markets.
In conclusion, Minister Al-Naimi urged close cooperation between oil producers and consumers, and cited Riyadh's hosting of the International Energy Forum Secretariat as a factor in maintaining this dialogue.
[Full text of speech]