Saudis assure West on oil production

Monday, July 26, 2004

LONDON Saudi Arabia has assured the West that the kingdom could significantly increase crude oil production.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al Naimi said the kingdom has enough capacity to nearly double its current oil output. Riyad pumps nine million barrels of oil per day, Middle East Newsline reported.

"We have enough resources to raise our production in the medium term to 12 or 16 million [barrels per day]," Al Naimi said in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel. "In the north of the country, in the Red Sea and the Empty Quarter there are areas which we have not yet intensively explored."

The Saudi minister said the price of oil, which exceeded the $40 a mark, was too high. He said the kingdom has sought to maintain OPEC's official price at between $22 and $28.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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