Amin Nasser, the CEO of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, has said that the company has spare production capacity of 3 million barrels per day (bpd). This comes with the ability to increase crude oil production in a matter of weeks if needed, to meet growing global demand.
Due to production cuts as part of the OPEC+ group and further voluntary cuts, Saudi Aramco, which recently bought the Valvoline global lubricant business, is only pumping 9 million bpd compared to a nameplate capacity of 12 million bpd.
Nevertheless, he expressed concern that there would need to be investment in new resources to offset the 5-7 million bpd of crude oil production that is typically lost each year in the world as fields naturally decline.
Speaking in London at the Energy Intelligence Forum, Nasser said:
“The concern the world should look at, as we erode that spare capacity, it’s a 102 million barrel system. We have approximately 3 million barrels spare capacity. As you start to erode that, there would be a concern.”
Nasser also said that Aramco’s plan to increase its crude oil production capacity was on track, with it aiming to reach 13 million bpd by 2027. In the short term, it said his country was planning to maintain its voluntary oil production cut of 1 million bpd to the end of the year, although he said the decision would be reviewed next month.
With the COP28 climate conference approaching, Nasser said it should shift its focus from cutting hydrocarbons production to reducing the emissions from them.