By Arab News
By Sharif M. Taha
Saudi Arabia exported nearly 2.25 billion barrels of crude oil in the past 10 months of the current year valued at SR 921 billion.
According to economic expert Fahad bin Jumaa, local consumption stood at 784 million barrels or 26 percent of the total production in the said period.
He predicted that Saudi oil exports in the forth quarter of the current year will hit 650 million barrels and yield SR 256 billion. However, oil production is set to drop to 9.8 million bpd with the recent decline of Nimex and OPEC basket prices to $ 96 and $ 106 respectively, he said.
Jumaa was referring to a report released by the International Energy Agency that Brent and WTI prices will be averaged $ 111 barrel and $ 94 a barrel, respectively in the forth quarter of the current year, a price gap of $ 17.
On his part, economic expert Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani recalled a similar IEA report that said the global markets would experience a gradual drop in oil prices over the next five years on the back of slow economic growth, an increase in the efficiency of energy consumption and higher production rates in Iraq and North America.
He said the IEA, which provides guidance to the industrialized nations on energy policies, has lowered its expectation on global oil demand for the period 2011-2016.
Consequently, OPEC countries will subject to less pressures to produce more oil and will not be forced to pump above 31 million bpd mark until 2017 to meet global demand, a level lower than the organization’s current production, he said.