King Abdullah: Saudi Arabia to increase oil production

June 22, 2008

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz said today that Saudi Arabia has increased its oil production from nine to 9.7 million barrels per day and that the Kingdom stands ready to meet additional demand.

King Abdullah made the remarks in an opening address at a summit in Jeddah to address rising oil prices. Representatives of more than 36 producing and consuming countries attended the meeting, as well as seven international organizations and a number of major oil companies.

In his address, the King noted that there are several factors for the high oil prices, including speculators, increasing consumption in developing economies and high petroleum taxes in consuming countries.

He also called for the establishment of a $1 billion energy initiative for impoverished countries to help them cope with the rising cost of energy. In addition, King Abdullah announced that Saudi Arabia would contribute $500 million to help developing countries finance development and energy projects.

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Affairs Ali Al-Naimi also addressed the meeting. He noted that current high prices are not justified by market fundamentals and that the status quo is in the interest of neither producers nor consumers.

“Given the vital importance of petroleum to modern life, the global nature of the oil markets and the far-ranging social, political and economic impacts of high prices and market volatility, we all have a stake in this conversation,” Al-Naimi said. “Current market conditions are in the interest of neither producers nor consumers, and none of us can be content with the status quo.”

The Saudi oil minister said that for the rest of the year, the Kingdom is prepared to produce more than the 9.7 million bpd of crude oil planned for July if there is demand.

He also stressed that petroleum resources are sufficient to meet demand for decades, and highlighted the Kingdom’s substantial investment in its energy sector.