Petroleum Minister delivers speech at 4th OPEC International Seminar

March 18, 2009

Addressing the 4th OPEC International Seminar in Vienna, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi warned that low oil prices threaten to undermine the world’s future energy supply by reducing investment in the oil sector.


Noting that petroleum exploration and production require "deep and wide obligations of time and money," Minister Al-Naimi explained that the industry is "reliant on energy prices that make such long-term commitments both practical and supportable."

Unfortunately, he said, the drop in energy demand caused by the global financial crisis has helped create "the longest bull run in the entire history of oil markets." Premature calls for a switch to alternative energy sources and efforts to reduce oil imports from "certain regions," he added, have only made the situation worse.

Nonetheless, said Minister Al-Naimi, "Saudi Arabia will stay the course with our long-term capital investments for oil and gas capacity expansion and related programs to enhance world energy supplies." He noted that the Kingdom’s daily oil production capacity is set to rise to 12.5 million barrels per day by the middle of this year.