2004 Press Release

Saudi oil minister says no shortage

[Washington, DC] -- Speaking to the World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi affirmed Saudi Arabia is committed to meeting the requirements of oil consuming countries, stating: “We in Saudi Arabia firmly believe that consumers, producers, and the world economy all benefit from stable and predictable oil markets.”

Addressing high gasoline prices in the United States, Minister Al-Naimi pointed out that low refining capacity was part of the problem, saying: “Even if OPEC were to raise output it would not necessarily translate into more gasoline for U.S. consumers.  This is because the supply ‘bottleneck’ is created by the lack of U.S. refining capacity, not by the amount of available crude oil in the world markets.”  He added: “Saudi Arabia is willing and ready to invest in two new refineries and their associated marketing facilities in the U.S. to alleviate the bottlenecks in product availability.”

The Minister also said that Saudi Arabia’s output could be raised to 12 or 15 million barrels per day and run at similar levels for 50 years, declaring: “We are very confident there is a lot more oil to be found in Saudi Arabia.”