Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi stressed that Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been ensuring a steady supply of oil to global markets at reasonable prices besides expressing their willingness to meet additional energy demand.
“In the first quarter of 2012, high price levels prompted the Kingdom to launch its own initiative to help calm fears about oil supplies and work with others to restore the oil prices to reasonable levels,” Al-Naimi said while speaking at the fifth International Energy Conference in the Turkish capital Ankara Wednesday.
“However, the fears have not completely been allayed, and I repeat here today that there is no shortage of oil supplies. Its stocks remain high, and we can meet any additional demand on oil,” Al-Naimi said.
He added that the Kingdom and Turkey have common interests in maintaining peace and stability in the region, which should come on top of their shared priorities in the future, wishing the promotion of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries.
“We are gathered here out of our concern about the impact of economic and political unrest sweeping the region and the world. It has become clear that the global economy is exposed to strong headwinds blowing from Europe, and to a lesser extent from the United States. Also, the economic recovery in both regions is slower than expected."
The still high unemployment rate and high debt levels lower confidence in the economy and are sure to have a negative impact on the global economy, the minister said, stressing the importance of the energy meeting.
He hoped the actions taken by the European Central Bank last month would start to reassure the markets, and to hear less pessimistic expectations about the future of the Eurozone. He also hoped that the steps taken by the United States and Japan would make a positive impact on their economies.
“While some countries are likely to suffer severely during the years of austerity to come, there is a positive outlook in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and we have to balance between negative and positive economic moods,” he said.
Commending the economic progress of Turkey, Al-Naimi said Turkey, like Saudi Arabia, has become a significant economic power achieving the 16th position among the top world economies, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“While the Turkish economy turns from agriculture and heavy industry to the service sector, Saudi Arabia is passing through a stage of transformation.
The Kingdom, which is experiencing unprecedented economic growth, invests in a wide variety of projects, ranging from infrastructure to advanced medical facilities and educational institutions. We also seek to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and make a quantum leap in the industrial and service sectors,” Al-Naimi added.