2004 Press Release

Statement by Saudi Oil Minister Al-Naimi
[Amsterdam, The Netherlands] -- The office of the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia released the following statement today:

On the current world oil market situation and the increase in oil prices above the upper limit of OPEC’s reference price, H.E. Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia stated that the recent revisions in oil demand and supply projections for the coming months point to an increase in the required production from OPEC by an excess of 2.0 mbd.  He emphasized that out of the concern for market stability, supply continuity and the growth of the world economy, especially of our fellow developing countries who stand to be more adversely affected by the sudden and excessive oil price increase, Saudi Arabia will propose an increase in OPEC production ceiling by more than two million barrels per day and has already allocated to its customers around 9.0 mbd as of June 2004.

H.E. Al-Naimi further stated that Saudi Arabia will continue to monitor market developments and coordinate with OPEC to keep markets well supplied in order to maintain prices within the agreed range acceptable to producers and consumers and conducive to economic growth especially in the developing countries.

He emphasized that the upcoming ninth International Energy Forum to be held in Amsterdam in the next few days will provide an opportunity to exchange views between producers and consumers on the underlying causes of recent oil price increase and ways and means that each will contribute to market stability.