Saudi minister: we must tighten our belts on oil

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has said his country needs to tighten its belt on oil use to guarantee economic prosperity and to support its population growth, the official Saudi news […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has said his country needs to tighten its belt on oil use to guarantee economic prosperity and to support its population growth, the official Saudi news agency reported over the weekend.

Despite being one of the oil giants of the world, Saudi’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Engineer Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, said using less oil and maintain social welfare were important goals.

Mr Al-Naimi was speaking at the opening of the Saudi Electricity Efficiency Forum in Riyadh on Saturday, where his fellow Minister of Water and Electricity estimated the demand for electricity in the Kingdom over the next ten years will reach about 90,000 megawatts.

Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Hasseen reckoned this will need 500 billion Saudi riyal (£84bn) in order to meet the electric demand growth rates in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has roughly a fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves and is the largest oil producer and exporter of total petroleum liquids in the world, according to the US Energy Information Administration.