Saudi Arabia exported nearly 1.06 billion barrels of oil in the first five months of the current year that yielded SR 428.6 billion ($114 billion), an economic expert was quoted by the local media.
Local consumption stood at 341 million barrels, or 24 percent of the total production, during the same period, Fahad bin Jumaa said.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that global demand on oil would grow by 8 percent during 2012-2018.
to 96.7 million barrels per day (mbpd) based on an optimistic outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the global economic growth ranging between 3-4.5 percent in the said period.
According to the IEA estimates, US shale oil will help meet the majority of new global oil demand during the next five years and hence keep demand on the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil unchanged at the current levels.
Jumaa said the US shale oil production has added 850,000 barrels per day to its current production levels, which were seen by some analysts as a threatening factor to OPEC oil exports.
A county like Saudi Arabia, with oil production capacity of 12.5 mbpd and big reserves, sees that US shale oil is a booster option for oil trade and will have a limited impact on the traditional oil production techniques and, therefore, the OPEC countries will not change their current production ceiling, which stands at 30 mbpd, he noted.
Despite growth of oil supplies, the price of West Texas is still hovering around $ 93 and Brent at $ 102 per barrel, which is acceptable to OPEC member countries. However, prices are predicted to drop this week with oversupply and weak global economic growth until the beginning of winter season, the expert said.
In light of these developments, the Kingdom cut back its average oil production from 10 mbpd in 2012 to its current level of 9.3 mbpd, he said.
The OPEC countries are currently producing 30.46 mbpd, an increase of 460,000 barrels over its agreed production ceiling. However, global demand on OPEC oil currently stands at 29.14 mbpd and is expected to increase to 30.48 mbpd despite Iran’s oil production cut from 1.1 to 1 mbpd due to Western oil sanctions against Iran, he pointed out.