Saudi Arabia plans to increase the capacity of the East-West Pipeline by 40% within two years in order to reduce oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz, Reuters reported.
The move comes in response to a number of incidents that included attacks on Saudi and Emirati oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf.
The Saudi Minister of Energy, Khalid Al-Falih told the news agency that the international community should take actions to protect oil supplies and secure the waterway, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes.
Saudi Arabia aims at maximizing exports through the 5 million barrels per day (b/d) East-West pipeline if required. “We are hoping to increase it to 7 million b/d,” Al-Falih noted.
Saudi Arabia exports oil through the Red Sea using a 1,200-kilometer pipeline, which runs from the kingdom’s Eastern Province to the western port city of Yanbu.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia has revealed that it is willing to further provide India with additional oil supplies, according to the minister.
“India also needs to do its part in securing free navigation of sea links transporting energy to the rest of the world,” Al-Falih noted after meeting Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, adding that Saudi Aramco’s talks about buying a minority stake in the refining assets of India’s Reliance Industries had not stalled.
Indian crude oil imports from Iran declined by more than half in April due to the sanctions imposed on Tehran.