Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal discussed global energy security in remarks to the United States Energy Association (USEA) today.
Prince Turki outlined a number of steps Saudi Arabia is taking to contribute to global energy security. First, he noted that Saudi Arabia is a reliable supplier to the US and the rest of the world, and is committed to maintaining that role.
Second, he remarked that the Kingdom is moving aggressively to expand capacity and address infrastructure needs on many fronts, including oil and gas exploration, production capacity, refining capacity and active rigs.
All of these initiatives are intended to bring the Kingdom’s maximum sustainable production capacity to about 12.5 million barrels a day and bring balance to the market, Prince Turki said. They will also help Saudi Arabia can maintain its policy of having a surplus capacity of 1 ½ to 2 million barrels a day so that it can compensate for supply shortages during crises. In addition, the initiatives will help address the global deficit in heavy crude refining.
However, the ambassador warned that Saudi Arabia cannot solve the world’s energy problems alone. Other producers need to invest in their infrastructures to increase production capacity, and consuming nations should invest in additional refining capacity.
Saudi Arabia believes oil prices today are too high, Prince Turki said. But Saudi oil experts also believe the markets are well supplied. In addition, fears over geopolitical concerns – such as poor US-Venezuelan relations, problems in Nigeria, instability in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tensions over Iran’s nuclear program – must also be addressed to enhance global energy security.
“Thus whatever we, as Saudis, do to build a stronger energy industry, it can only be complemented by our continued cooperation with the United States and other countries, as we work to reduce tensions – and prospective conflicts – in the Middle East,” Prince Turki said.