Saudi Arabia has been reported to continue pumping at near-record levels to defend sales in Asia, its biggest market, amid an increase in global supply. In addition, Saudi Aramco, the state-run oil giant, said that both its drilling and IPO plans remain unchanged, OilPrice reported.
Aramco’s CEO, Amin Nasser, stated that Aramco will keep investing in long-term oil projects to supply new East Asian customers. He added that “the number of our customers in Asia is growing, and different customers see big value in doing business with Saudi Aramco,” Bloomberg wrote.
However, the impact of declining oil prices has not fully spared the kingdom. The World Bank in its MENA Quarterly Economic Brief, Whither Oil Prices? report said that the 2014 oil price crash together with the high spending of the last several years have been draining the Saudi government’s budget. According to Trend News Agency, Saudi Arabia’s foreign exchange reserves fell to their lowest level in June. Net foreign assets held by the kingdom’s central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), dropped by $11b month-on-month to $562m, new official data show.
Previously, the kingdom led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in December and in June to abandon limits on output. Nonetheless, Riyadh expressed that it will not cut back its oil and gas production despite record low prices for crude oil.