15 million barrels per day realistic, says Aramco VP

Saudi Aramco has an evaluated production capacity of 15 million barrels per day, according to a senior official at the world’s largest oil producer. In an exclusive interview with Oil&Gas Middle East, Mustafa Jalali, vice president of corporate affairs, said that unexplored regions of Saudi Arabia could also contain sizeable new reserves.

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By  Jyotsna Ravishankar Published  July 4, 2005

Saudi Aramco has an evaluated production capacity of 15 million barrels per day, according to a senior official at the world’s largest oil producer. In an exclusive interview with Oil&Gas Middle East, Mustafa Jalali, vice president of corporate affairs, said that unexplored regions of Saudi Arabia could also contain sizeable new reserves. “Currently, Saudi Aramco’s sustainable production of crude is 10.5 million barrels per day (mmbd),” said Jalali. “This 10.5 mmbd includes spare production capacity of 1.5 to 2 mmbd. Saudi Arabia has committed to maintaining spare capacity and drawing on it when warranted by market conditions. In fact, Saudi Aramco has evaluated a production capacity scenario of 15 mmbd, which can be implemented to meet future market demand.” He also said that unexplored regions of Saudi Arabia could also yield new oil deposits. “In the past, Saudi Aramco has focused its exploration efforts in the eastern and central regions of the Kingdom, leaving more than half of the Kingdom relatively unexplored and holding great prospects for additional resources,” said Jalali. “These virtually unexplored territories include offshore locations in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, as well as the southern and northwestern parts of Saudi Arabia. The incremental recoverable potential, beyond proven resources [officially 261 billion barrels], is estimated to be in the order of 200 billion barrels.” Jalali also said that the company will maintain spare capacity to preserve market stability, however expensive this may prove to be. Commenting on the new Caspian Pipeline (BTC), Jalali said that such projects would only supplement Saudi Arabia’s oil and not substitute it entirely. Even if there is plentiful oil in other regions of the world, pumping it out is either too difficult or expensive, he argued. “Even assuming that such issues could be overcome, the combined potential of the world’s major producers is not expected to match the future production potential of Saudi Arabia alone,” Jalali said.

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