Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi Thursday assured Asian consumers that Saudi Arabia would meet all of their oil needs and was committed to maintaining prices that do not harm global economic growth.
"I would like to assure our customers in Asia that Saudi Arabia is both capable and committed to meeting the petroleum needs of its Asian partners. We are dedicated to maintaining spare production capacity in the range of 1.5-2 million barrels per day to meet additional demand should the need arise," Al-Naimi said at the first roundtable of Asian oil producers and consumers in New Delhi, India today.
"In order to meet the needs of our customers, we have been producing about 9.5 million barrels per day throughout the second half of 2004, and could produce more on short notice," the Press Trust of India quoted Al-Naimi as saying. Saudi Arabia sells 4.5 million barrels of crude oil or 60 percent of its total exports to Asia.
"We closely monitor the growth of petroleum demand in Asia to anticipate future needs, so we can meet them without delay. At the same time, we watch closely the growth in future world demand and the fluctuations in supply to maintain a suitable spare production capacity," he said.
"Saudi Arabia is pledged to absolute reliability in times of scarcity and in times of abundance," he said, adding Saudi Arabia had always come forward to fulfill global petroleum requirements under both normal and extreme conditions, making sure that prices stay at a reasonable level.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia offered India long-term crude-oil supply contracts and invited Indian oil companies to set up an oil refinery in the Kingdom. In the fiscal year that ended in March last year, Indian oil companies imported 23.55 million tons of crude from Saudi Arabia.