Publications Notes de l'Ifri
Marie-Claire AOUN, Saïd NACHET

The Saudi Electricity Sector: Pressing Issues and Challenges

With 266 billion barrels of proved oil reserves (16% of world total), Saudi Arabia holds the world's largest (conventional) crude oil reserves, was the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in 2013, and the second largest petroleum liquids producer behind the United States[1]. The Kingdom has the lion share of the global oil production spare capacity, which proved to be crucial for the oil market stability on many occasions in the past, allowing Saudi Arabia to replace missing barrels from any other oil producer in the world. In the same manner, Saudi Arabia’s decision last November not to step-in and reverse the oil price decline thus, abandoning its historical role as a “swing producer,” revived the old debate on the use of oil as a “political weapon” on the international energy scene.


In addition to its well known predominant role in the oil markets and in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), several other features make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a major player in the world economy and global geopolitics...


[1] According to BP (2014).

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