Saudi oil minister confirms oil production levels at German conference

Will the oil price remain low? Do the activities of Islamic terror networks affect the stability of the Arabian Peninsula? What is the current state of Europe’s security of supply? These are just a few of the most prominent global energy issues discussed at the “Security of Energy Supply” conference in Berlin on 4 March, co-organised by World Energy Council Germany, the Federation of German Industries (BDI), and the German–Arab Friendship Association (DAFG).

From left: HE Al-Naimi, Dr Carsten Rolle, Minister Gabriel

Carsten Rolle, Secretary of Weltenergierat, the German member committee of the World Energy Council, moderated a panel with Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economics and Energy and HE Ali Al-Naimi, Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources. They discussed long-term trends in oil production and explored opportunities of the transfer of renewable energy technologies to the Middle East.

Minister Al-Naimi confirmed at the panel that Saudi Arabia – the most efficient oil producer on the market – will continue to maintain high levels of oil production in response to a growing demand in the near future.  He underlined that this is a reasonable market reaction without political motives. When asked on how the oil price might develop in the mid-term, Al-Naimi humorously replied that he would not be in Berlin, but in Las Vegas, if he knew.

According to Ulrich Benterbusch, Managing Director of the German Energy Agency, energy subsidies will remain a key hurdle to the export of renewable energy technologies. He saw low fossil fuel prices as a window of opportunity to discuss the removal of energy subsidies with Arab leaders.

– by Timothy Trollope, Weltenergierat