Saudis dismiss U.S. oil diversification efforts

Friday, April 9, 2004

Saudi Arabia appears unimpressed with U.S. efforts to diversify its energy suppliers.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al Nueimi predicted that alternatives to Persian Gulf crude oil would diminish over the next decade, Middle East Newsline reported. Al Nueimi said there were no proven oil or natural gas reserves that could compete with those in the Gulf region including those in Africa, the North Sea, Caspian Sea or Russia.

"And so eventually it's going to come down, in the next 10 years or so, to the [Persian] Gulf area," Al Nuemi said in an interview with the Oil & Gas Journal. "I know people today are clamoring for diversification of sources of supply and stability in the gulf area. Believe me, in the final analysis, the world will be better off to depend on the Gulf. That's where God has put those reserves."

The Saudi minister dismissed claims by U.S. experts that Saudi oil reserves were depleting. He said the kingdom has proven reserves of 260.4 billion barrels of which half has been developed.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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