Saudi Aramco to Invest $14 Bln on Oil Capacity Plans

FWN Select

DUBAI Nov 01, 2005 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex)

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (SOI.YY), or Saudi Aramco, plans to spend SAR52 billion ($13.9 billion) on its oil output expansion plans by 2009, according to a Riyadh-based bank.

Samba Financial Group (1090.SA) said in a report received Tuesday that Aramco's investment would pay for its previously announced plans to boost crude oil output capacity from 11 million barrels a day to 12.5 million b/d by 2009.

Samba, in its third-quarter economic report, said Aramco was also expected to make other investments in refining, natural gas and other energy areas.

An Aramco spokesman said the company declines to reveal specifics of its investment plans.

Aramco's investment comes amid boom times for the Saudi economy, fueled by record oil revenue and rising non-oil revenue.

The kingdom's 2005 oil revenue is expected to rise 54% from last year, thanks to red-hot oil prices sparked by hurricanes and limited spare capacity in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the bank said.

Export revenue would reach $163 billion, up from 2004's record $106 billion, with the value of Saudi crude for the year averaging $51 a barrel, above last year's $35/bbl. Production is forecast to average 9.5 million b/d, up from 2004's 9 million b/d.

This will result in real gross domestic product growth of 6.8%, bolstered by surging non-oil sector growth of 7.9%, the bank said.

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