Saudi Aramco plans to invest $40 billion a year over the next decade to keep oil production capacity steady and double gas production, CEO Khalid Al-Falih says.
STAVANGER, Norway, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, plans to invest $40 billion a year over the next decade to keep oil production capacity steady and double gas production, Chief Executive Khalid Al-Falih said on Monday.
State-owned Aramco sees more capital going into offshore projects and expects rising costs across the oil sector to underpin oil prices, Al-Falih told a conference.
Oil prices fell to a 14-month low of $101.07 last week as global demand growth weakens, even as production ramp ups in several places create a glut of oil.
"To meet forecast demand growth and offset (global output)decline, our industry will need to add close to 40 million barrels per day of new capacity in the next two decades," Al-Falih said.
"Although our investments will span the value chain, the bulk will be in upstream, and increasingly from offshore, with the aim of maintaining our maximum sustained oil production capacity at twelve million barrels per day, while also doubling our gas production."
Al-Falih said that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or the International Energy Agency should not try to control oil prices but fundamental problems within the industry, like rising costs, increasing technical challenges and the falling size of finds would support the price.
"I share ... the belief that this is a market driven business, it's not OPEC, the IEA, and consumers that should be in the business of trying to control the market," Al-Falih said. "OPEC will take the price as it comes."
"To tap these increasingly expensive oil resources, oil prices will need to be healthy enough to attract needed investments ... (and) long-term prices will be underpinned by more expensive marginal barrels.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Joachim Dagenborg; Editing by Michael Urquhart)
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