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Sunday 12th of October 2008
July 6, 2005

Saudi warns on oil supply gap


by Brian Turner
Saudi warns on oil supply gap

Saudi Arabian officials said on Wednesday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will not be able to meet the projected Western demand for oil in 10 to 15 years.

Senior Saudi officials say that there will be an approximately 4.5 million barrel per day gap between needs and what Saudi Arabia will be able to supply.

According to the International Energy Agency, at current prices OPEC would have to boost production to 50 million barrels per day by 2020 to meet demand.

The cartel’s current production is around 30 million barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia possesses the largest oil reserves in the world and pumps 9.5 million barrels per day currently.

The kingdom says that it can reach 12.5 million barrels per day in 2009 and 15 million barrels per day eventually.

Western analysts say that it would be hard for Saudi Arabia to produce anything above that level.

Saudi Arabia is expected to have to shoulder half of OPEC’s production growth in the next 10 to 20 years, with most of the rest coming from the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Meanwhile, European officials say they think the world could hold demand down to 44 million barrels per day if energy saving measures were instituted, a level of production they believe OPEC could handle.

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