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Saudi Energy Minister says oil is not enough

by Kevin Baxter on May 19, 2009


Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, Ali Al-Naimi. (Getty Images)
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, Ali Al-Naimi. (Getty Images)

The Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, Ali Al-Naimi, has said that the massive hydrocarbon deposits the country has do not guarantee prosperity and that only by using them effectively would the country be able to secure its long term future.

Addressing the Saudi Society for Energy Economics in Dharan, Al-Naimi said that the true “litmus test” for the country will be maximising the efficiency of  KSA’s petroleum resources and using them to diversify the economy.

“[The oil] sector still makes up the bulk of our gross domestic product. Its contribution to the GDP has amounted on average to 35% during this decade. The sector also accounts for the greater share of the Kingdom’s exports and some 86% of government revenues,” Al-Naimi said.

“The oil sector also makes feedstock and fuel available from crude oil, in addition to providing products, natural gas and natural gas liquids, for industry and utilities,” he added.

Al-Naimi pointed to the cheap and abundant availability of both feedstock and energy as being a great incentive for the massive expansion in petrochemicals production, utilities, infrastructure works and other related industries in the Kingdom.

“The industrial clusters program seeks to attract, facilitate and develop a number of pivotal projects in these four clusters by 2013,” Al-Naimi said.

“The anticipated total investments by the private sector in all the projects of these clusters are estimated at  US$10.7 billion. Additionally, the projects will contribute $24 billion to the GDP annually and create some 160,000 employment opportunities by 2020,” he added.


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