As Saudis Keep Pumping, Thirst for Domestic Oil Swells


RIYADH—Saudi Arabia is poised to break records for oil production this summer, analysts said, as domestic-energy needs soar during its scorching summer and the holy month of Ramadan and threaten its ability to ramp up exports.

Saudi Arabia has said it produced a near-record 10.3 million barrels a day in May, a mark that industry observers said could increase to 11 million barrels this summer as air-conditioning use increases with temperatures reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The country has the ability to produce 12.3 million barrels a day for 90 days, but it has never pumped this much. Saudi output averaged 9.22 million barrels a day from 2006 to 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Most of its oil is exported.

For the past three years, Saudi domestic energy demand has been rising by about 8% due to an expanding population and new construction and large-scale projects. More than 25% of the country’s crude is consumed domestically by cars, planes, homes and businesses, a figure that rises in the summer and is almost double what the kingdom used in the early part of the last decade. The kingdom’s population has increased 17% since 2005, faster than most developed countries. (by SUMMER SAID And AHMED AL OMRAN, Wall Street Journal)


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