Saudi Arabia wants to raise its crude oil production capacity from its current 12.5m barrels per day to 15m barrels per day by 2020, a prince in the kingdom was quoted as saying.
Prince Turki Al Faisal, a former intelligence head, said that the increase would allow for the Gulf country to export up to 10m barrels per day. Prince Turki was speaking at an event at Harvard University on April 25, although a transcript of his comments were only published this week.
Saudi Arabia has about one-fifth of the world's proven oil reserves and is the largest oil producer and exporter of total petroleum liquids in the world. The kingdom has the largest spare capacity, which it has used to help stabilise the global oil market and invest in the development of the country's infrastructure, in addition to providing financial aid to neighbouring countries.
However, in a report last year, Citigroup said the kingdom could become an oil importer by 2030 if the country's oil consumption grows in line with peak power demand.
As a result, the kingdom has been investing heavily in renewable energies to fulfil domestic consumption requirements.
The Saudi government says it will invest SR408.75bn to produce 41 gigawatts of solar energy by 2032.
The Saudi Electricity Company will also spend $80bn over the next ten years to help meet the kingdom’s rising demand for electricity, local daily Arab News reported last month.