Top global oil exporter Saudi Arabia is set to use a record spy phone iphone 3 number of drilling rigs this year as it ramps up production, in the face of possible supply eazy cell phone spy reviews shortages due to Western sanctions on Iran.
With oil exports by Iran, Opec’s second largest producer eazy cell phone spy reviews under threat, Saudi Arabia is expected to have a record eazy cell phone spy reviews 140 oil and gas rigs by the end of the year, industry sources said.
“Aramco is following an ambitious programme to add rigs to accelerate field development spy phone iphone app download in oil and gas,” said an industry source in Saudi Arabia.
State-run Saudi Aramco declined to comment.
The number of rigs operating in the world’s second largest oil producer spy phone iphone itunes after Russia is already back to levels seen in the early 2008 oil boom at around spy phone iphone 3 130, up from 100 at the end of the third quarter last year.
Most are being used for oil drilling but others are probing for gas, being spy phone iphone app used for maintenance, or drilling for water needed to reinject spy phone iphone 3gs into oilfields to boost production.
Last year, industry sources said that Aramco planned to raise the number spy phone iphone app of drilling rigs it operates to pre-financial crisis levels of up to 135 by the second spy phone iphone app quarter of 2012.
Many of the additional rigs will be allocated to Manifa, as Aramco expedited eazy cell phone spy reviews plans to bring the 900,000 bpd oil field on line in two phases from 2013.
Aramco sharply reduced its rig count from 130 to 104 as the global spy phone iphone 3gs economic crisis hit demand in 2009.
Once Manifa is fully online by 2014, Aramco plans eazy cell phone spy reviews to boost production at offshore oilfields Safaniya, Zuluf spy phone iphone app download, Marjan, and other onshore projects, Saudi industry eazy cell phone spy reviews sources said.
Aramco is already implementing a project to maintain maximum production spy phone iphone app download capacity at its huge Safaniya offshore oilfield.
Plans to re-open the country’s first oilfield, Dammam, which spy phone iphone app could add an extra 40,000 bpd are still under study eazy cell phone spy reviews. Dammam still accounts for 0.5bn barrels of Aramco’s proven reserves spy phone iphone what it is, Aramco’s CEO Khalid al-Falih has said.
“The re-opening of Dammam is now under study and a decision spy phone iphone app download is expected to be reached soon,” said an industry source in the kingdom spy phone iphone 3gs. “For the time being Saudi has sufficient resources spy phone iphone 3gs to bring online with ease.”
Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said last week the kingdom had been meeting all its customers’ spy phone iphone app needs and was prepared to raise output from current eazy cell phone spy reviews levels of around 9.9mn bpd to full capacity of 12.5mn bpd, if needed.
But al-Naimi said he expected output next month spy phone iphone 3gs to remain steady and that demand for Saudi crude was unlikely spy phone iphone 3gs to ever reach Saudi Arabia’s existing 12.5mn bpd capacity because eazy cell phone spy reviews of rising production in other countries.
Aramco chief executive Khalid al-Falih spy phone iphone app said last November that plans to increase the kingdom’s production capacity eazy cell phone spy reviews to 15mn bpd had been put on hold because it already had enough spare capacity to meet expected spy phone iphone what it is demand.
“There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is doing spy phone iphone app everything it can to increase its production for current and future demand eazy cell phone spy reviews,” said Kamel al-Harami, an independent Kuwaiti analyst.
“They want to be the world’s leader in oil production and are taking steps to ensure spy phone iphone app that they have this confidence from global buyers.”
Oil fields need to be repeatedly drilled to maintain healthy production spy phone iphone 3gs levels.
‘Able to raise crude output’spy phone iphone app
The kingdom’s oil minister Ali Al Naimi stresses that Saudi spy phone iphone app Arabia maintained spare production capacity to meet any emergency shortage eazy cell phone spy reviews in supplies and to satisfy demand
SAUDI Arabian oil minister Ali Naimi says the kingdom can raise spy phone iphone what it is its crude oil production by 2 million barrels per day (mbpd) eazy cell phone spy reviews almost immediately and describes as “disturbing” Iranian threats spy phone iphone what it is that have roiled oil markets.
Iran’s Opec governor, Ali Khatibi, warned Arab oil producers spy phone iphone app against colluding with the West by agreeing to offset any gap in supply should Iranian spy phone iphone 3 crude oil be subjected to an embargo.
Naimi’s comments were the first reaction by a Saudi government official spy phone iphone app download to recent rhetoric from Tehran, where some military commanders spy phone iphone app and politicians have threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz oil route spy phone iphone 3gs from the Gulf.
“Let me put it this way. I don’t think all these pronouncements spy phone iphone app are helpful to the international oil market or to the price of oil. It’s really disturbing spy phone iphone 3,” Naimi says.
“I believe we can easily get to 11.4, 11.8 mbpd almost immediately eazy cell phone spy reviews, in a few days because all we need is to turn valves,” he says when asked how soon Saudi Arabia spy phone iphone 3gs could turn up the taps in the event of a supply disruption. “To eazy cell phone spy reviews get to the next 700,000 or so, we probably need about 90 days.”
Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter spy phone iphone app download, has total oil production capacity of 12.5 mbpd. Its December output was 9.8 mbpd.
Naimi was responding to questions about fears of a supply eazy cell phone spy reviews gap should Iranian oil exports of 2.2 mbpd be interrupted as a result of tighter sanctions spy phone iphone 3 and a threatened EU oil embargo.
He stresses that Saudi Arabia maintained spare eazy cell phone spy reviews production capacity to meet any emergency shortage in supplies and to satisfy eazy cell phone spy reviews demand from its customers.
“This spare capacity is to respond to emergencies worldwide spy phone iphone 3. To respond to a customer demand. That is really the focus. Our focus spy phone iphone what it is is not who drops out of production but who wants more,” Naimi says, referring spy phone iphone 3gs to Saudi Arabia’s decision to raise output to make up for the loss of output eazy cell phone spy reviews in the US Gulf as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The kingdom, the biggest crude oil exporter to China spy phone iphone online, was prepared to meet requests for additional supplies from China and other spy phone iphone what it is buyers, Naimi says.
“We know China’s overall demand fluctuates spy phone iphone 3 over the course of the year by between 400,000 and 500,000 bpd. But like prudent customers, they have diversified their spy phone iphone 3 supplies,” he says.
“So if we were asked to provide an additional 200,000 or 300,000 bpd, that’s spy phone iphone app download not a big deal because you know we have the capacity to produce 12.5 mbpd,” Naimi says, adding that Saudi Arabia spy phone iphone app has been producing between 9.4 mbpd and 9.8 mbpd.
The US, which in December imposed sanctions spy phone iphone 3gs against Iran’s Central Bank making it more difficult for Opec’s eazy cell phone spy reviews second biggest producer to receive payment for its crude eazy cell phone spy reviews oil exports, has urged Asian oil consumers China, Japan spy phone iphone app and South Korea to lessen their reliance on Iranian spy phone iphone 3gs oil. Saudi Aramco and China’s biggest refiner spy phone iphone 3gs Sinopec signed an agreement to build a 400,000 bpd oil refinery in Yanbu spy phone iphone app on the Red Sea Coast.
The signing ceremony coincided with a visit to Riyadh spy phone iphone app by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who reportedly raised eazy cell phone spy reviews the issue of energy security with Saudi King Abdullah and other eazy cell phone spy reviews senior officials.
Asked whether Japanese and South Korean fears spy phone iphone app download about the potential loss of Iranian oil were justified and whether Saudi eazy cell phone spy reviews Arabia would be able to meet any supply gap from Iran, Naimi replies: “Absolutely spy phone iphone app download. As long as they are customers, we will honour their requests.”spy phone iphone 3gs
Oil prices have been rattled by threats from some Iranian officials spy phone iphone 3gs that they would block oil traffic through the Strait of Hormuz eazy cell phone spy reviews should their oil exports be targeted by sanctions.
Naimi says he did not think any closure of the strait would spy phone iphone itunes last long and CNN quoted him as saying that, while half of total Saudi spy phone iphone 3 oil exports are shipped through the Gulf waterway, Saudi Arabia had other eazy cell phone spy reviews alternatives.
“I personally do not believe that the strait, if it were shut, will be shut for any length spy phone iphone 3gs of time. The world cannot stand for that,” Naimi says.
Naimi also he would like to see oil prices stabilised at around spy phone iphone 3gs $100/b, explaining that he was referring to an average of Nymex spy phone iphone app crude, Brent and the Opec basket.
“Our wish and hope is that we can stabilise this oil price and keep it at a level around eazy cell phone spy reviews $100…for the average of the crudes worldwide. If we were able as producers and consumers spy phone iphone 3gs to average $100, I think the world economy would be in better shape spy phone iphone 3,” Naimi says.
With exports to the US already under an existing decades-old spy phone iphone app embargo, Iran is now facing the prospect of losing market share in Asia to rival spy phone iphone what it is producers, namely Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia spy phone iphone app with which its relations have been testy in the past year. Khatibi advises spy phone iphone 3 Arab oil producers to exercise wisdom, adding that a Western oil embargo spy phone iphone 3 would come only if the other Gulf producers provided assurances that they would spy phone iphone app raise their output.