Saudi energy minister: Oil supply is sufficient, market is balanced

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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday- before the start of an OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers’ meeting in Algeria- that the signatory states of the oil deal will try to reach a 100 percent commitment within two or three months.

Falih said that the world oil market seems balanced and has sufficient supply, noting that OPEC members have pumped supplies in the last three months to compensate for Iran’s supply shortage.

He added that the kingdom’s excess production capacity is enough and reaches 1.5 million barrels per day, stressing that Saudi Arabia can exploit the surplus production capacity within days and weeks.

Falih also said that “everything necessary will be done to ensure the stability of the global economy.”

The Saudi minister expected oil demand to grow by 1.5 million barrels per day this year and the next.

While the Saudi energy minister pointed out that the balance between oil supply and demand is satisfactory, and the general trend of stocks remains reassuring, he stressed that it is necessary to take proactive action, saying: “Collective action must be taken to ensure the oil market balance in 2019.”

“The market is what determines the oil prices,” he added.

For his part, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that his country has a surplus in production capacity, and can add 100,000 barrels per day every year.

The UAE’s Energy Minister Souhail Al Mazroui stressed that his country has surplus production capacity, but does not want to overuse it.

“We recall the completion of the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and affirm that the energy, industry and mineral resources organization stand side by side with our leadership and brothers in all sectors of the country, renewing its vows to continue efforts and multiply it, and to work faster, and be more creative and innovative,” Falih said to mark the 88th Saudi National Day.

“The world today, more than ever before, is aware of the kingdom’s high economic standing, especially its role in maintaining the stability of the world oil market as it takes into account the interests of both producing and consuming countries,” added Falih.

He noted the path towards the diversification of renewable energy sources, stating that it is “in fulfillment of the aspirations of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the directives of the Crown Prince, who announced the launch of the Jabbar project aimed at producing 200 gigawatts of electricity from solar and wind power, as well as the National Atomic Energy Project.”

He stressed that Saudi Arabia is accomplishing the aspirations of the leadership and the people by injecting new and pioneering projects and strengthening the infrastructure and support for the industrial sector by launching the National Industries and Logistics Development Program which aims to transform the kingdom into a leading industrial power and a global logistics platform.

Falih added that this is done through aiming to grow and develop four main sectors: industry, mining, energy and logistics, which will generate new job opportunities, boost trade balance, maximize local content, and transform mineral wealth into value added products through the development of intermediate and transformational industries, according to the Saudi energy minister.

He stressed that investing in Saudi youth, developing their abilities, and opening the horizons of learning, creativity and innovation in front of them, was a strategic goal in every project or program, adding that programs begin by attracting talent and training and developing skills with the first stages of each project.

Falih said “Our Saudi sons and daughters have proven that they are capable of achieving the highest level of knowledge and efficiency, and their record in this field is full of achievements and excellence. The best examples of this are Saudi Aramco and SABIC.”

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