The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that King Abdullah has ordered a halt to new oil exploration to preserve the Kingdom’s vast hydrocarbon resources.
“I told them [the Cabinet] that I have ordered a halt to all oil explorations so part of this wealth is left for our sons and successors,” King Abdullah told Saudi scholars studying in Washington. However, a senior oil ministry official told Zawya Dow Jones that the King’s words should not be interpreted as a full-fledged ban, but rather as a warning that future explorations should be carried out mindfully with an eye towards future generations.
Saudi Arabia possesses the world’s largest recoverable oil resources with 260.1 billion barrels at the end of 2009. It is the largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and recently announced the discovery of a new oil field and a non-associated gas field to add it its substantial holdings. Saudi Arabia pumped an average of 8.26 million barrels a day in June 2010, about 209,000 barrels above its target.