1998 News Story

Oil minister affirms Saudi oil policy

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibn Ibrahim Al-Naimi, in a speech today delivered at the four-day Sixth Arab Energy Conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus, affirmed that the Kingdom's oil policy aims at the continuation of petroleum as the major source of energy, with Saudi Arabia getting its fair share of the oil market.  He went on to say that the Kingdom is working towards increasing its production capacity without causing a negative impact on the prices of crude oil, adding that the Shuyabah oil field will start production next month, with on average 500,000 barrels per day, and that production in the oil fields near Riyadh has reached an average of 200,000 barrels per day of the best quality crude in the world.  Minister Al-Naimi stressed that the responsibility for market stability is not that of one nation or group of nations but shared by many countries, especially those where oil constitutes an important part of their national income.  In this connection, he made reference to the Kingdom's initiative in March along with Venezuela and Mexico to cut down oil output by more than 1.5 million barrels a day.  He said the Kingdom has one quarter of the oil reserves in the world, which, at today's production rates, can last for over 100 years.