The Gemini Star oil tanker, owned by Vela International Marine, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco (Photographer: Dana Smillie/Bloomberg News) 

Aramco CEO Pledges to Meet Oil Demand After OPEC Strikes a Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant will meet customer demand for its crude after the country’s energy minister cemented a deal to boost global supply, according to Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser.

The world’s biggest exporter, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is pumping 10 million barrels a day and has the capacity to produce 2 million more, Nasser told reporters at a signing ceremony for a refinery investment in India. Like the OPEC ministers who agreed last week in Vienna to raise supply, he didn’t specify how much additional crude would reach the market.

“Aramco will always avail the right amount of resources to satisfy the customers,” Nasser said in New Delhi. “The finer details of the agreement -- we leave it to the OPEC members” to decide how much oil each country will provide. “That’s between them,” he said. “We will see the effect of the agreement very soon.”

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners including Russia agreed last week to boost production to meet rising demand and keep prices in check. OPEC ministers offered different numbers for the amount of additional oil they expected the group to produce as a result of the deal. Brent crude hit $80 a barrel last month, prompting complaints from buyers including the U.S., China and India, the world’s fastest-growing market.

‘Healthy’ Demand

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the Vienna agreement could add about 1 million barrels a day to the market and that Aramco was already raising production and could increase daily output by 250,000 to 400,000 barrels in July.

Nasser said oil demand is rising by 1.5 million to 1.7 million barrels a day and will be “healthy” next year.

Aramco’s trading unit is already buying and selling oil produced by other countries and plans to start dealing in Saudi crude, he said. The unit, known as Aramco Trading, is supplying light oil, or condensate, from U.S. fields to buyers in the Middle East and Asia, Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, senior vice president for Aramco’s downstream business, said at the New Delhi ceremony.

Aramco Trading has sold cargoes of U.S. condensate to Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., Al-Judaimi said. Adnoc, as the producer in the capital of the United Arab Emirates is known, signed an agreement with Aramco on Monday for their joint participation in an Indian refinery project.

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