Crown Prince Naif to Prince Khalid al-Faisal:

Report on Makkah Council’s role is important step, efforts have to be redoubled to achieve King Abdullah’s ambitions

Prince Naif urges universities to preserve nation from deviant ideologies

Saudi oil minister speaks on kingdom’s petroleum and gas policy

Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, has commended a comprehensive report prepared by the Makkah governorate highlighting the progress of development projects in the region during the period 2007-2010.

He said it was an important step on the road to activate the role of the Provincial Council and local councils in other areas.

"I would like you to double your efforts in achieving the aspirations of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the welfare and prosperity of all citizens," Prince Naif said in a cable to Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.

He thanked Prince Khaled and all those who participated in the preparation and compilation of the report and said it contained detailed information about development projects in Makkah.

Prince Naif chaired a meeting of the Makkah Provincial Council on June 19, where he witnessed a presentation on the implementation of the development projects in the region. The presentation included information about delayed projects, the reasons behind the delay, and means of rectifying it.

Prince Khaled had asked Abdulaziz Al-Khodairy, undersecretary at the governorate, to lead a work team consisting of 1,700 people to carefully study the implementation of the projects during the first phase of his tenure.

The team consisted of representatives from the government and private sector in addition to civil society organizations, university teachers and qualified young men and women.

The report also revealed the future development projects that will focus on the development of human resources in the province during the next four years. It said a center for the follow-up of projects would be established at the governorate in addition to a permanent team consisting mainly of Saudi citizens.

According to the report, a total of 3,600 projects were scrutinized to check whether they were being implemented perfectly or delayed. It said there were 880 municipal projects constituting about 39 percent of the total number of projects followed by the educational sector, which had 469 projects with a ratio of 21 percent.

According to the report, there were 238 service projects, 233 health projects, 114 basic infrastructure projects, 60 transport and 44 economic projects.

The report said the execution of 319 projects, worth SR44 billion and representing about 13 percent, was delayed, while work on about 5 percent of the projects valued at SR600 million was halted. It said most of the unfinished projects were in the sectors of health and education.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Naif received at his office in the Royal Court Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Angari, Minister of Higher Education, and Directors of Universities in the Kingdom, who came to greet him.

At the outset of the meeting, the Crown Prince urged Directors of Universities to do their duties towards the homeland and society, and protect it against the deviant ideologies, noting the importance of spreading awareness and the intensification of non-curricular activities in universities.

For their part, they expressed thanks to and appreciation of the Crown Prince for his support for higher education.

The meeting was attended by Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Crown Prince's Court; Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan, Advisor at the Crown Prince's Court and a number of officials.

On the other hand, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi stressed that objectives of the Kingdom's international oil policy are clear, stable and based on moderation and that such objectives are inter-related and inseparable.

The minister said that the Kingdom's international oil policies aim at 'the oil policy to agree with, correspond to and serve the Kingdom's general policy. This, as you know, aims at serving the Kingdom's interests, enhancing its regional and international role, fostering cooperation will all countries, noting that the Kingdom has started to focus on secondary industries related to oil and gas as well as energy studies and research thus turning the Kingdom into a producer of world-scale energy studies on the same footing as those produced by the best similar centers worldwide.'

The minister said that the Kingdom's oil policies strengthen global and regional peace and political stability, enhance accelerating economic growth and cater for the relationships and dual cooperation with the Arab, Muslim and developing nations to maintain the stability of the oil market by maintaining investments in the oil value chain, from exploration to production, refining and marketing, and maintain an appropriate level of excess production capacity to meet any supply shortages or any unexpected demand increase and to cooperate with the oil producing and exporting countries, particularly OPEC countries, and oil consuming countries to know their oil policies and needs.

This came in the minister's speech delivered at the fifth session of the Gulf and the World Forum under the title 'Prospects of Energy and World Economy.' The speech was delivered on his behalf by Dr. Ibrahim Muhanna, advisor to the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

The minister said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue its production in accordance with the requirements of the market and the demands and needs of its customers of the various international companies, while keeping in mind the global oil market balance such as supply/demand and commercial inventories and working in cooperation and full coordination with OPEC.

The minister stressed the kingdom's keenness on protecting the environment, controlling global warming and working for oil to be compatible with various environmental requirements.

The minister said that 'although we continue to explore the Kingdom's oil and gas potential and resources, this does not mean that we will immediately start production from the newly-discovered fields; rather, it only means determining the resources available in the Kingdom for future use when needed and for the future generations.'

The minister said, 'We discovered volumes of gas in the Red Sea area, in the north of the Kingdom and in the Rub' al Khali that can be commercially utilizable in addition to the discovery of types of heavy oil and non-traditional gas in various regions of the kingdom.'

He added that one of the future objectives is to develop all stages and sectors of the Saudi oil industry including turning Saudi Aramco into an integrated international company with regard to operations and activities in terms of type and location, and enabling it to compete with, and even be ahead of, the best international companies.

He stated that due to technological development in the process of oil consumption and production, oil extraction rates from reservoirs rose from 30% to 50% in some countries in only 30 years and exceeded 70% in some fields, in addition to new discoveries that raised the global extractable reserves from 667 billion barrels in 1980 to 1.4 trillion barrels in 2010, despite an accumulated production of 760 billion barrels during the same period. Oil has also been extracted from reservoirs that were previously difficult to reach, he said.