There seems to be remarkably little information about Saudi Arabia’s planned oil ‘summit’ next Sunday in Jeddah. The first news of it seemed to be released rather informally, via a ‘junior official’ at the Oil Ministry. Since then, various rumours have been reported, but nothing very substantive. All we seem to know for certain at the moment is that King Abdullah told the UN Secretary General over the weekend that he thinks oil prices are ‘abnormally high’.
In the past, a clear Saudi view such as this would be a prelude to a major decrease in price. But at the moment, there seems little clarity as to what, if anything, the King might be planning. And the main media have differing views on the key short-term issue – the potential for extra Saudi production:
• Bloomberg reports that Saudi Aramco will start pumping an extra 500kbpd from the new Khursaniyah field ‘next month’
• The Financial Times, however, only suggests this will start ‘soon’.
• The Wall Street Journal takes a different line altogether, suggesting there might not be any additional net production increase at all, as ‘the plan for that field was to ramp up its production slowly, while using the new stream to allow some of the country’s older fields to rest’.
It looks as though we may have to wait till next weekend to find out what King Abdullah is really hoping to achieve from his summit.