2000 News Story

Minister comments on halt of Iraqi oil exports

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi gave assurances today that Saudi Arabia was closely monitoring current developments in the global oil market resulting from Iraq's halt of its oil exports, evaluating its potential impact on price rates in terms of imbalance of supply and demand. The Kingdom, he said, is concerned with stabilizing the oil market and preventing detrimental fluctuations that negatively affect the global economy. Saudi Arabia is currently consulting with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and with the International Energy Agency, which represents the consuming countries. Such consultations will lead to the emergence of a clear practical position guaranteeing oil market stability, rooted in the spirit that dominated the recently-concluded International Energy Forum in Riyadh. The surplus productive capacity of the OPEC member states, he declared, is around 2.5 million barrels a day, with the Kingdom's share in this exceeding 70 percent. This will guarantee market stability and prevent any drop in supply.