Saudis ups oil production

Friday, May 28, 2004

ABU DHABI ŃSaudi Arabia has reported crude oil production of 8.1 million barrels per day.

The state-owned Saudi Aramco said it produced an average of 8.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2003. Aramco operates the kingdom's energy sector.

In an annual review of the company, Saudi Aramco also reported production of 6.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Most of that gas was directed toward the operation of power stations, Middle East Newsline reported.

Aramco said that by the end of 2003, the kingdom had proven natural gas reserves of 259.4 billion barrels. The company said natural gas reserves were set at 234.5 trillion cubic feet.

Meanwhile, Morocco has been deemed a potential prospect for energy exploration and development.

Industry sources said leading Western energy contractors have expressed interests in developing Morocco's crude oil and natural gas reserves. They said much of those reserves could be located offshore in the Mediterranean Sea and that seven wells would be drilled over the next 18 months.

Over the last month, Morocco has signed two agreements with major Western contractors for the exploration of energy reserves. On April 20, Denmark's Maersk Oil acquired eight licenses for exploration on the southern shores of the Moroccan district of Tarfaya, an area of about 15,000 square kilometers. A week later, Norway's Norsk Hydro won a contract to undertake geological studies over an area of more than 6,500 square kilometers.

Morocco has revised oil regulations and legislation meant to encourage foreign investment. So far, such Western majors as Royal Dutch/Shell, Spain's Repsol, Malaysia's Petronas and the U.S. firm Conoco-Phillips have been involved in energy sector of the North African kingdom.

Copyright © 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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