Saudi Arabia ready to increase crude supply to meet Indias energy needs

New Delhi, Jan 18 | Updated: Jan 19 2007, 05:30am hrs
Saudi Arabia, world's largest oil producer, on Thursday said it would boost oil production capacity to meet the rising global demand. The country also said it was committed to increasing crude supplies for meeting India's future incremental energy needs.

I want to assure you that Saudi Arabia is committed to increasing the availability of energy to global markets. These are no hollow words but are backed up by concrete plans and actions and commitment of more than $80-billion for capital projects aimed at increasing the supply of energy to world markets and alleviating infrastructure bottlenecks, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told the Petrotech 2007 conference here.Talking specifically about India, he said, We are supplying about 500,000 barrels per day of oil to India. We stand ready and are committed to increasing those supplies (that) are needed in the years to come. Saudi Arabia is also interested in various types of joint venture partnerships with Indian firms, either in the kingdom or in India, he said inviting Indian engineering and construction firms to bid for new projects available in petrol, natural gas, petrochemicals and mineral sectors. We would like to see more of the manufactured products and equipment used in our projects sourced from India, he said.

He said Saudi Arabia was looking beyond short-term aberrations in markets by carrying through an $80 billion programme to boost output and meet global demand. Oil prices have slid 16% this year and now ruling at a little over $52 a barrel.

Our policies recognise the need to look beyond the short-term aberrations that are always present in oil markets, and that often masks the critical signals necessary for long-term stability, he said.

Saudi Arabia, which is Opec's biggest producer, rejected calls by fellow members like Venezuela and Algeria for an emergency meeting to discuss a further lowering in output targets to stem price decline.

Saudi Arabia will boost oil production capacity to meet the rising global demand
Currently, it is supplying about 500,000 barrels per day of oil to India
Oil prices have slid 16% this year and now ruling at a little over $52 a barrel

The kingdom has a significant stake in ensuring stable markets for the long-term, he said, adding his country was doing all it can to boost oil production capacity and oil and gas reserves are adequate to meet rising demand.

On the production front, Al-Naimi said Saudi Arabia planned to expand capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day by 2009 from the current 10.8 million barrels per day. The kingdom might start additional projects to expand output capacity after 2009, subject to global demand, Al-Naimi said. Refining capacity in the country will be doubled to more than six million barrels a day over the next five years.