Saudi Aramco CEO sees 'significant growth' in oil output
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, plans “significant growth” in output in 2016 and further international expansion, the head of the country’s state-run producer said, even as global oversupply contributed to a drop in crude prices from a year ago.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, will boost capacity at the Shaybah oil field by 33 per cent to 1 million barrels a day in the next couple of weeks and will double natural gas production over the next decade, Amin Nasser, chief executive officer told reporters Tuesday at its headquarters in Dhahran, eastern Saudi Arabia.
“Even though it is challenging, it’s still an opportunity for us to grow,” Nasser said of the international expansion plans.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to reduce its reliance on oil sales amid lower prices for its most lucrative export. As part of that effort, the king’s increasingly influential son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wants to sell stock in Saudi Aramco for the first time, creating what could be the world’s largest listed company.
The kingdom is leading Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members in a battle for market share against higher-cost producers including U.S. shale drillers. Nasser’s predecessor as CEO, Khalid Al-Falih, who was appointed oil minister Saturday, said he’ll keep Saudi oil policy unchanged.
“Saudi Arabia will maintain its stable petroleum policies. We remain committed to maintaining our role in international energy markets and strengthening our position as the world’s most reliable supplier of energy,” Al-Falih, who remains Aramco’s chairman, said in a statement Sunday, his first day in office.