Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi held a meeting in Riyadh today with Norway's Energy Minister Thorhild Widvey. During the meeting, they discussed the situation in the global oil market, supply and demand and international stockpiles.
At a joint press conference, Minister Al-Naimi commented that when expanding production, Saudi Arabia always takes into consideration the age of the oil fields, and plan for the next 50 to 100 years. To a question on the global strategic stockpile of petroleum, he said this is equivalent to 51 days, an adequate level since it has a direct effect on oil prices. He confirmed that the Kingdom is currently producing 9 million barrels a day, and has a capacity of nearly 11 million bpd, with the possibility of raising this to 12.5 million bpd by 2009, adding that an extra capacity of between 1.5 and 2.0 million bpd is maintained in order to meet urgent demand.
Minister Al-Naimi confirmed that Western companies have been participating in oil investment in Saudi Arabia. As for the number of the Kingdom's oil wells, he said there are over 80 oil and gas fields, but of these, fewer than 20 are actively used. The others can be exploited when the need arises. Commenting on Minister Widvey’s remarks that Norway is not seeking accession to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Minister Al-Naimi declared that what is important is to crystallize understanding and cooperation among producers to achieve oil market stability and guarantee a balance of supply and demand. There are, he said, very strong ties between Saudi Arabia and Norway, which work together for oil market stability and guaranteed supplies.