The Minister of Energy, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said, Monday, that the crude oil production capacity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 13.3-13.4 million barrels per day by the end of 2026 or early 2027, as it looks to intensify work in the Neutral Zone fields with Kuwait.
The Kingdom currently can pump more than 12 million barrels per day of crude.
The kingdom traditionally maintains a spare capacity of 2 million barrels per day, which is used on-demand to help maintain global market stability during supply shocks such as the Gulf War in the early 1990s or the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Saudi Arabia pumped 10.40 million barrels per day of crude in February, according to Platts’ latest OPEC+ production survey.
The Kingdom is committed to the agreements of the OPEC + alliance, which works to reduce production cuts with monthly increases of 432,000 barrels per day, which successfully contributed to maintaining the balance of supply and demand despite the decline in the production of some members of the alliance due to various circumstances.
Several OPEC+ ministers recently emphasized that a lack of upstream investment is one of the main reasons for high oil prices.
Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that even for a producer like Saudi Arabia, it takes long periods to increase production, which is why more investments are needed in existing oil projects.
Even for Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz said, it would take six to seven years of work to bring 1 million barrels per day to the market. “It’s about re-engineering, pipelines, and wells that have to be drilled and operated effectively,” he said.
The high export figures for Saudi oil supplies to the global market were in line with the agreements of the OPEC + producers’ alliance, which is gradually increasing production monthly with varying quotas for 23 countries from OPEC and outside.
As a result, Saudi Arabia’s production of crude oil rose to 10.225 million barrels per day last February, an increase of 1.1 million barrels per day higher than last year’s levels and 441,000 barrels per day higher than February 2020 levels.
With the OPEC + alliance continuing to raise its quotas, Saudi production is scheduled to rise in the coming months to reach 10.331 million barrels per day in March and 10.436 million barrels per day in April, with the ultimate goal of 11 million barrels per day, under the OPEC + agreement.
The kingdom remains under pressure from its main customers to ramp up production faster, to offset the impact of Western sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.