RIYADH — Saudi oil minister prince Abdulaziz Ben Salman said Monday the kingdom has taken every step to secure its oil facilities and guarantee market stability amid rising regional tensions.
The US drone strike has exacerbated fears of broader conflict in a region that has seen attacks on ships and Saudi oil facilities in the last year.
“We have taken all the possible precautions,” Abdelaziz told the opening of the 2020 International Petroleum Technology Conference in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran.
The minister said Saudi Arabia’s oil production would hit 9.77 million barrels per day in Jan. and Feb.
In Dec., in the presence of the OPEC cartel and 10 other oil producing countries, the kingdom announced it would cut its production in order to support prices.
Just before Saudi oil facilities were attacked in Sept., Saudi Arabia was pumping 9.9 million barrels per day, or nearly 10 percent of world demand.
“There exists no other surer and more responsible source (of oil) than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Abdelaziz said.
“When the kingdom’s oil facilities were attacked several months ago, we acted quickly and have maintained stability of oil supplies and that’s what counts for consumers,” the minister said.
“We protected the world economy,” he added.
Drone and missile attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Sept., blamed on Iran, slashed crude production from the world’s top oil exporter by almost half.
Prince Abdelaziz said the crisis “showed the Saudi oil sector’s flexibility and the Saudi leadership’s long-term strategic vision, as well as Aramco’s quality and strength.”
Saudi Aramco last month floated its shares on the stock exchange for the first time but was hit more than a week ago by a panicky sell off amid Iranian vows of retaliation for Soleimani’s killing.
“Faced with tensions that persist in our region, Saudi Arabia will continue to do what it can to guarantee the stability of oil markets,” the minister stressed. (AFP)