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Saudis Won’t Start Pumping Oil from New Fields

Source: Bloomberg 12/5/2011, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabia won’t start producing oil right away from new fields and will adjust its crude output according to the market’s needs, said Ibrahim al-Muhanna, an adviser to the nation’s oil minister.

“Although we continue to explore the kingdom’s oil and gas potential and resources, this does not mean that we will immediately start production from the newly discovered fields,” Muhanna, speaking on behalf of Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, said in a speech in Riyadh. Naimi is scheduled to attend the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on Dec. 14 and United Nations-led talks on climate change in Durban, South Africa that began last week.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, produced 9.55 million barrels a day of crude in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The kingdom has discovered natural gas in the Red Sea, in the country’s north and in the desert of the Empty Quarter in its south, Muhanna said.

The country aims to ensure stability in the global oil market through investments in exploration, production, refining and marketing, and will “maintain an appropriate level of excess production capacity to meet supply shortages or any unexpected demand increase,” Muhanna said. It will cooperate with oil consumers especially at times of crisis, he said.

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