Saudi Arabia will continue to pump oil at increased levels through May, Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Monday during an earnings call, according to Reuters.
Nasser added that the state-run oil giant, who has promised to unleash a total of 12.3 million barrels per day on the oil market, was “very comfortable” with $30 oil.
Arab Light was trading at $30.24 per barrel on Monday, down 5.1% on the day.
Both Saudi Arabia and Russia are adamant that they both can weather the current low-price environment. And for Saudi Arabia, who is planning on upping its oil exports in April and May, the lower oil prices will be partially offset by the increased volume. Saudi Arabia has for more than a year shouldered the brunt of the production cut agreement with OPEC and its allies. But Saudi Arabia would need to ship a lot of extra oil to make up for the 30% price slide.
Saudi Arabia is planning on drawing an extra 300,000 barrels per day out of its bloated storage to meet its promised exports in April, and claims it could keep its level of 12 million bpd of output for a year without any increased in spending.
Aramco cut its spending by anywhere from $2.8 billion to $7.8 billion this year compared to last year, given today’s low prices and market volatility. Aramco today reported a profit of $88.2 billion for 2019, down from $111.1 billion in 2018.
Also on Monday, Aramco recommitted to meeting its very healthy $75 billion dividend for 2020.
Saudi Arabia has lowered its official selling price for April, while analysts continue to revise downward their oil demand forecasts for the remainder of 2020.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Saudi Arabia could go bankrupt in less than two years if the oil price remained as low as $30 a barrel. The country needs an oil price much higher than $85 to balance its budget.
Furthermore, Saudi Aramco doesn’t have the production capacity to produce 12.0 million barrels a day (mbd). Saudi Arabia has never ever had a production capacity of 12.5 mbd and will never ever achieve one. Its production peaked at 9.65 mbd in 2005 and has been in decline since. Saudi Arabia can at best produce some 8.0-9.0 mbd with another 700,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 1.0 mbd coming from storage. This is so because its current production is coming from five giant but aging and fast-depleting oilfields discovered more than 70 years ago.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
It will be this year, watch December. Bankruptcy.