Al-Naimi: Saudi Arabia will be a reliable supplier of oil for decades

January 30, 2012

“Saudi Arabia will continue to be a stable supplier of crude oil to world markets for many decades,” Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi told the Middle East and North Africa Energy 2012 conference at Chatham House in London yesterday. In a speech, entitled “Investing for the Future in Turbulent Times,” Al-Naimi described the continuous investment the Kingdom is making in its oil industry. He denied that increased domestic energy consumption will affect crude exports, citing measures to raise energy efficiency inside Saudi Arabia, as well as the expansion of the natural gas industry and the use of renewable energy sources.

“This ongoing focus on gas, for use in domestic consumption, is one of Saudi Arabia’s economic priorities,” he stated. “This increase will meet a large part of our energy consumption, and will also free up even more oil for export.” Furthermore, the Kingdom has “embarked on a number of ambitious programs to enhance energy efficiency in the industrial, government, commercial, and residential sectors.” And while “the fact remains that oil will continue to play a major role in the overall energy mix for many decades,” the Petroleum Minister stated, “I see renewable energy sources as supplementing existing sources, helping to prolong our continued export of crude oil.”

Al-Naimi noted that the Saudi government is currently focused on creating jobs, investing in education and building up infrastructure and social services. By “investing in our young people,” he asserted, the Kingdom is “diversifying our economy away from its over-reliance on fossil fuels.” During a time of turbulence, regionally, globally and in the oil industry, Al-Naimi said, “Saudi Arabia is committed to fulfilling its international role.” He concluded, “There is a great spirit of dynamism sweeping across Saudi Arabia. And I am sure that this will be a dynamic decade of growth in the region. Of course the world will face many difficulties and challenges over the coming year, but I am confident that, through dialogue, partnership and trust, they can be overcome.”