In remarks at the opening of the International Energy Forum Secretariat headquarters in Riyadh today, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi said that the IEFS would provide a forum for enhanced dialogue between oil producing and consuming countries.
He praised the new Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) world oil database, which, he said, will improve countries’ ability to plan for the future and contribute to the stability of the oil market by providing clear and accurate oil data. “I do not exaggerate when I say shortage in accurate oil information is one of the reasons for the crises that international market witnesses nowadays,” Al-Naimi said.
The minister also urged countries participating in the IEFS to provide more financial support to the organization. He noted that more than 40 countries have contributed to its budget, but that it requires more funding. Al-Naimi also urged oil companies to support the IEFS as well by establishing an independent fund.
In a press conference after his remarks at the ceremony, Al-Naimi said that Saudi Arabia intends to spend more than US $50 billion on production expansion projects, and that the final amount would be determined following feasibility studies. He also stated the Kingdom’s production capacity is expected to reach 12.5 million barrels by the end of 2009.