The Saudi oil ‘summit’

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.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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One Response to The Saudi oil ‘summit’

  1. Biofuelsimon 17 June, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    If the king’s noticed that the price is high and he must get his almost for free then the price must be more than astronomical.

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