News / Middle East

Demand for Saudi Oil to Grow in Coming Months

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi (L) attends the First Gulf Cooperation Council Petroleum Media Forum in Kuwait City, March 25, 2013.Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi (L) attends the First Gulf Cooperation Council Petroleum Media Forum in Kuwait City, March 25, 2013.
x
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi (L) attends the First Gulf Cooperation Council Petroleum Media Forum in Kuwait City, March 25, 2013.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi (L) attends the First Gulf Cooperation Council Petroleum Media Forum in Kuwait City, March 25, 2013.
Reuters
Demand for Saudi crude is likely to rise over the next few months, Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said on Monday, in a sign that the world's largest oil exporter sees a recovery in its biggest export market, Asia.

State-run Saudi Aramco cut production sharply in the fourth quarter of last year because of weak economic growth abroad and lower seasonal demand for oil for power generation at home.

It kept oil output steady at around 9.05-9.15 million barrels per day [bpd] in January and February, but industry sources have said exports could rise in the second quarter, driven by Asian demand.

Naimi confirmed on the sidelines of an industry event in Doha on Monday that he expected external demand for Saudi crude to rise over coming months, but said it remained to be seen by how much.

China's factory activity rebounded in March in a sign that its underlying economic recovery is strong enough to weather any uneven export periods, surveys showed on Monday.

China imported 1.08 million barrels a day of crude from Saudi Arabia in 2012, up 7.24 percent from 2011, and state-run CNPC expects China's total net imports to rise again in 2013.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's leading producer and holder of the world's only significant spare capacity, slashed its output by around 700,000 bpd over the last two months of 2012, helping drive a rise in crude prices from early December to February.

Long-term outlook

With Europe wallowing in debt and the United States consuming more of its own oil, demand from Asia has become the main driver of oil exports from producers in the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] over the last decade.

Asia collectively bought more than three times as much Saudi crude in 2011 as buyers in North America, and five times more than Europe, according to Saudi government data.

Rapid population growth in Asia, and a booming middle class in China in particular, is likely to see ever more Saudi crude head east as European and U.S. oil import demand wanes.

"For decades, GCC energy supplies helped support economic growth in the U.S. and across Europe... We have done the same in Asia, supplying energy to help fuel its increasing growth and prosperity," Naimi told the Brookings Doha Center.

"It is thanks to Asian demand and GCC energy supplies that our region's combined GDP is at an historic high - and that economic growth remains strong," he said, pointing to population growth as a firm driver for future demand.

OPEC oil producers have played down the potential threat of a surge in North American shale oil production over the last few years, arguing that more supplies are good for price stability.

"I, for one, welcome all new energy sources to the market. I don't think anyone should fear new supplies when set against increasing global demand," Naimi said, according to a copy of his speech in Doha sent to the media.

"More companies and nations are competing for their slice of the energy pie. That's true. But the pie is getting bigger and there is enough to go around."

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs