Saudis see strong oil and look to secure sales in India


NEW DELHI • Saudi Arabia signalled the outlook for crude is sunny and sought to secure sales in the world’s fastest growing oil market with a stake in a planned US$44 billion (RM170.43 billion) Indian refinery.

OPEC’s top producer sees “strong fundamentals” and “reasonable” balance in the short term, according to Energy Minister Khalid Al- Falih. Stockpiles in developed nations are now close to normal levels, he said yesterday, signalling that output curbs OPEC and its allies have made to shrink a global glut are working.

He also said the Middle East kingdom’s state-run producer Saudi Aramco will take a 50% stake in a proposed 1.2 million barrel-a-day refining and petrochemical complex on India’s west coast. The plant will be built with refiners in the South Asian nation, Al-Falih said at a joint press conference with Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi as part of the 16th International Energy Forum.

Al-Falih yesterday said the Middle East kingdom doesn’t have a target price, and that producers remain committed to maintaining stability.

They won’t let another glut destroy energy investments, he said.

As part of the refinery deal signed in India yesterday, Saudi Arabia will supply about 50% of the plant’s crude requirements and look to sell more, Al-Fal ih said.