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Saudi Arabia to Establish its First Nuclear Plant - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Cairo – Saudi Arabia is planning to expand its nuclear power through Saudi’s first nuclear plant in order to diversify its energy sources.

Khalid al-Falih, Saudi energy Minister and Chairman of Aramco said Saudi Arabia is looking into choosing a site for the first nuclear station in the country.

Speaking at the Oil and Money conference in London Wednesday, Falih said that the state oil company plans to boost its refining and chemicals business and expand into cleaner energy such as nuclear power.

Falih’s statements come during a time when experts predict there will be a shortage in the oil supply.

“We are now at the end of a considerable downturn,” Falih said, adding that: “many analysts are now sounding warning bells about future supply shortfalls and I am in that camp.”

This was confirmed by Total SA Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne who admonished industry leaders about the dangers of underinvestment and future oil-supply problems. He stated that investment decreased from $700 billion two years ago to $400 billion this year, and maybe even less.

“Market forces are clearly working after a testing period of sub-$30 prices. The fundamentals are improving and the market is clearly balancing the supply and demand equation,” Falih explained.

“Non-OPEC members are showing willingness to join this effort. And without mentioning names, many countries have said they are willing to not only freeze, but cut at healthy levels that will match whatever is going to happen by OPEC,” he said.

Falih expected the market conditions to improve with the contribution of improving fundamentals and the joint action by OPEC and non-OPEC alike.

The minister outlined the rapidly changing landscape in the energy industry since OPEC last month in Algeria to modestly cut its output. A rebalancing of supply and demand is under way that will lift prices, he said.