|Saudi Arabia may become oil importer by 2030||
DUBAI — Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, risks becoming an oil importer in the next 20 years, according to Citigroup.
Oil and its derivatives are used for about half of the kingdom’s electricity production, which at peak rates is growing at about eight per cent a year, the bank said on Tuesday in a an e-mailed report. A quarter of the country’s fuel production is used domestically, more per capita than other industrialised nations, as the cost is subsidised, according to the note.
“If Saudi Arabian oil consumption grows in line with peak power demand, the country could be a net oil importer by 2030,” Heidy Rehman, an analyst at the bank, wrote. The country already consumes all its natural-gas production and plans to develop nuclear power, which pose execution risk amid a lack of available experts, safety issues and cost overruns, Rehman said.
Saudi Arabia, which depends on oil for 86 per cent of its annual revenue, is accelerating exploration for gas and is planning to develop solar and nuclear power to preserve more of its valuable crude for export.
Saudi Arabia’s per capita consumption in 2011 is higher than most industrialised nations, including the US, according to the report. The nation’s 10-year historical consumption compound annual growth rate may increase six per cent, double its projected population growth, Rehman wrote.
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