Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, commenting on current developments in the global oil market, today declared that the current increase in the price of crude oil is not justified, since the reserve stockpile is compatible with market requirements. He went on to state that since an increase in demand is projected for the latter part of this year, Saudi Arabia will at some point increase its production in order to adequately fulfill this additional demand. Furthermore, he said, Saudi Arabia believes that the OPEC production ceiling should be adjusted upwards by half-a-million barrels per day, and hoped that this would be announced during the upcoming ministerial meeting.
Minister Al-Naimi confirmed that Saudi Arabia's current capacity of 11 million bpd is meeting market requirements, and that monitoring of the market will continue, in order to determine when additional crude oil supplies need to be made available. The Kingdom has plans to expand its capacity over the period 2006-2009 to 12.5 million bpd, and remains fully committed to ensuring adequate supplies of crude.