Saudi Arabia can lift oil production within weeks - Aramco CEO


By Ron Bousso and Shadia Nasralla

LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco 2223.SE is able to ramp up oil production within weeks as global consumption is set to rise to a fresh record by year-end, the CEO of the oil giant said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that global oil demand was set to rise to 103 million barrels a day (bpd) in the second half of this year.

OPEC+, which comprises the countries of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and leading allies including Russia, has been cutting output since last year in what it says is preemptive action to maintain market stability.

Saudi Arabia, the OPEC de facto leader, said it would continue with its voluntary oil output cut of one million bpd for the month of November and until the end of the year and that it would review the decision again next month.

Saudi Aramco 2223.SE is able to ramp up oil production capacity "in a couple of weeks" if needed as global demand continues to rise, Nasser said at the Energy Intelligence Forum.

Nasser said that the company's spare production capacity is now at 3 million bpd, around 3% of global demand.

He said that in order to meet the growing demand for oil and offset the natural decline of fields, which stands at 5 to 7 million bpd per year, producers need to invest in new production.

Aramco plans to increase its oil production capacity to 13 million bpd by 2027 from today's 12 million bpd remains on track, he added.

"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 told the conference that this year's COP28 U.N. climate conference should focus on cutting emissions from hydrocarbons, rather than reducing their production.

Burning fossil fuels is the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso and Marwa Rashad; Writing by Yousef Saba, Editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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