Unconventional oil highlights need for preparation - Aramco CEO

05 March 2013 19:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The advent unconventional energy sources has brought new challenges to the industry, which, until recently, was confronted with a world concerned about supply shortages, given the rapid growth of demand before 2008, the chief executive of Saudi Aramco said on Tuesday.

With the introduction of unconventional sources, there is now an abundance of oil and gas, but there may be unforeseen interruptions over the next few years, said Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco. He made his comments during IHS CERAWeek.

Despite a decline in US demand, Al-Falih said Saudi Aramco remains committed to the US market, despite it being configured for sour crudes instead of the lighter, unconventional crudes.

“The world simply cannot afford to squander its resources,” Al-Falih said. “Now is the time to prepare ourselves.”

Saudi Aramco plans to double its refining capacity in the next few years and will begin to integrate petrochemicals more.

“We are planning today where Saudi Aramco will be producing in the next century,” he said.

However, he warned that despite the excitement of a healthy supply outlook, the industry cannot become complacent, adding that market stability is essential and necessary to protect economic health.

According to Al-Falih, the lessons of the past must be heeded to manage risks because, “what happens to one company affects us all”.

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By: Anna Matherne

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