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Wed 5 Sep 2012 12:50 PM

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Saudi could be oil importer by 2030 - Citigroup

Rising domestic demand for electricity could necessitate oil imports, says report

Saudi could be oil importer by 2030 - Citigroup

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, could become an oil importer by 2030 amid rising domestic demand for electricity, Citigroup said.

Oil and its derivatives are used for around half of the kingdom’s electricity production, which at peak rates is growing at about 8 percent annually, the bank said in a note.

“At its current oil consumption rate we calculate that Saudi Arabia would be an importer of oil by 2030,” analyst Heidy Rehman wrote.

“Indeed we would expect consumption to continue to outstrip population growth as Saudi Arabia’s currently young population ages and consumer spending increases supported by rising GDP per capita,” she added. 

The kingdom, which has the world’s second largest oil reserves, uses a quarter of its fuel production domestically, which is higher than most industrialised nations including the US “despite it’s relatively smaller population”, noted the report.

The country already consumes all of its gas production, which is unlikely to change, it added. Unlike the UAE and Kuwait, Saudi Arabia does not import any gas.

Over half of the country’s energy demand is consumed in residential use while 70 percent of power demand is for air conditioning during the summer months, said Citigroup. 

Heavily subsidised costs are driving up ‘lost revenues’. “We estimate that Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas subsidies translate to over US$80 of ‘lost’ revenues. This could rise to US$400bn by 2035,” said the report.

“At the domestic level, we believe the only real way to rationalise energy consumption would be to reduce subsidy levels,” it added.

Saudi Arabia, which depends on oil for 86 percent of its annual revenue, plans to develop nuclear and renewable energy in a bid to reduce its energy demands.  The Gulf state plans to spend more than US$100bn on 16 nuclear reactors planned to be built up 2030, Prince Turki Al Faisal, said last year.

“Adding solar capacity is easier, in our view, given the successful execution of projects globally,” noted the report.

“Nuclear projects however represent risk given the lack of available nuclear power experts following 25 years of global investment”, plant safety risks and the rising costs in constructing power plants, it added.

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صلفاح 7 years ago


Omar 7 years ago

What a pitiful situation. The GCC states in general and Saudi Arabia in particular are some of the world's highest per capita consumers of energy.

I would agree that reduction of subsidies and investment in solar power is the best way forward, however I personally feel that the Saudi leadership would not have the political will to reduce subsidies to citizens and also have an ego to join the "nuclear club", especially since Iran is following a nuclear programme.

Shafiqur Rahman 7 years ago

Saudi Arabia have to memorize this news and run through with kin step.
1. No need to with drawl more oil except their needs.
2. No need to export more oil just to reduce life and living expenses.
3. Saudi Arabia is very partile country for Solar Electricity, so they have to make Solar Power Plant instead of use Oil. It is very important and very easy for them.
4. They have to practice Solar car, bus, solar system house hold electronic items every where, Security system, etc. it will reduce defend on oil.
5. From now government have to order their nation to use electric appliance when they need other wise close, cold season no need to us heater in general. etc. Saudi Arabia cold is normal comparing to other country those who are facing more cold without heater.
6. Government have to order all companies to start to use Solar Electricity, which will install by every company them self.

Shafiqur Rahman

Steve Thompson 7 years ago

While non-conventional sources of oil will fill the gap over the short haul, production from these reservoirs decline very steeply and require massive investments to maintain production levels. To compensate for production declines over the next 25 years, 47 million BOPD of production will have to be added, nearly twice the volume of oil currently produced by all Middle East nations as shown here:


arif hussain 7 years ago

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should be rational while pumping oil..they should bear in mind that nothing is sustainable and therefore should use alternative energy..as i think solar power will be beneficial for them as most of the months in a year is bright sunny here. To reserve their oil they must go for a change in their transport system too as it consumes too much oil. if they make metros and educate their natives to use public transport rather than private cars will not only ensure smooth traffic flow but will help in reducing the consumption of oil.

Sunshine 7 years ago

iknow this report is a long time ago. but does anyone have a copy of the Citigroup report? would really appreciate if someone can give/provide me a link/copy of it. Thanks in advance.