Aramco is ready to continue shipping crude oil even if maritime transport through the Strait of Hormuz is disrupted, its chief executive told Bloomberg in an interview.
“We are increasing our readiness. We can supply through the Red Sea and we have the necessary pipelines and terminals,” Amin Nasser said as fear about a possible closure of the world’s largest oil chokepoint abound in the wake of the two tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.
Days after the tanker attacks, Iran’s shooting down of a U.S. drone further heightened already high tension between Washington and Tehran, which was followed by a fresh round of sanctions issued by President Trump against the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and other senior government officials including Iran’s foreign minister.
Aramco’s Nasser separately told Reuters the Saudi state company also had the capacity to meet oil demand despite any potential for supply disruption.
“What’s happening in the Gulf is definitely a concern. “At the same time we went through a number of crises in the past ... we’ve always met our customer commitments and we do have flexibility and the system availability in terms of available additional spare capacity.”
That said, Nasser also noted Aramco had no plans to increase its current production capacity, which it claims stands at a maximum of 12 million bpd.
“If you look at our production, it is hovering around 10 million barrels per day so we do have additional spare capacity,” the chief executive said.
Despite the general feeling of uncertainty about the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has threatened to close a number of times in the past, those with more experience in the industry and regional politics argue the risk of the chokepoint being closed is pretty much non-existent whatever the tensions between Iran and the U.S.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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