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Saudi Arabia continues with investments despite crude decline: report

Oil minister: oil prices will rebound soon and fossil fuel will remain main source of energy for decades

Saudi Arabia will continue to press ahead with oil and gas investments despite the major fall in oil prices as the Kingdom’s strategy doesn’t focus on exports only, but also seeks to meet growing demand at home.

The Kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, has been making major efforts to develop renewable energy sources, namely solar power, according to a report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Meanwhile, the country’s economy continues to grow at full steam despite the crude oil price plunge, a report published by Al Eqtisadiah indicates.

The report highlights recent remarks by the Saudi oil minister in which he has forecast that oil prices will rebound soon and stressed that fossil fuel will remain the main source of energy for decades to come.

Furthermore, the Saudi finance minister has recently assured that the government’s hefty spending on major public projects and social welfare will continue unabated. The minister made it clear that the Kingdom has an abundant financial buffer of $734 billion in reserves.

The report notes that Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product surged from $526bn in 2010 to more than $752bn in 2014.

The Gulf nation’s proven oil reserves are estimated at 266bn barrels, according to 2014 estimates, making the Kingdom the world’s second-largest country in terms of oil reserves after Venezuela whose proven reserves stand at 300bn barrels.

($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)