Saudi Arabia’s national oil and gas company, Saudi Aramco, is all set to pour more crude into a global market already reeling from price lows over a lingering glut.
“We’re seeing a global increase in demand,” CEO Amin Nasser told a group of reporters at his company headquarters in Dhahran on Tuesday. “We are meeting that call on us.”
“Supply and demand will come into balance by the end of the year, or first quarter next year,” Aramco chief added.
The Saudi state energy company says it produces one out of every eight barrels of oil in the world, or about 12% of global production, more than any other single producer.
Saudi Arabia has been widely blamed for plummeting oil prices over the past year as Riyadh has adamantly refused to cut its crude output in a bid to drive other players, including US shale producers, out of the market.
In addition, Riyadh has been under tremendous financial pressure due to its expensive military intervention in its southern neighbor, Yemen, which started last March.
Oil accounted for 72 percent of the total revenues of the Persian Gulf kingdom last year and it projects a budget deficit of nearly USD 90 billion this year.
The country’s flagship company pumps some 10.3 million barrels per day. That is more than twice its closest competitor Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned producer, according to Reuters figures.
Yet, the company’s chief believes prices will start rising by early 2017.
Oil prices dropped to their lowest level in over a decade earlier this year as producers pumped more oil than the world needed.
But they have stabilized around $45 a barrel despite Saudi Arabia’s move to block a planned production freeze by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers.