Saudi Arabia May Run Out of Oil to Export by 2030
Saudi Arabia’s per capita oil consumption is higher than the U.S. and most developed countries
Long known as perhaps the most oil-rich country in the world, Saudi Arabia’s dwindling crude oil deposits could see that nation become an oil importer in less than 20 years, according to a a report compiled by Citigroup Inc.
With the country’s peak rates of electricity production growing at up to eight percent per year and with oil and its derivatives used to generate about 50 percent of the power used by its own citizens, the bank warns that Saudi Arabia could find itself without the crude oil needed to keep its young and relatively wealthy population stocked with energy, forcing it to import the fuel from other nations as soon as the year 2030.
“If Saudi Arabian oil consumption grows in line with peak power demand, the country could be a net oil importer by 2030,” writes Citigroup analyst Heidy Rehman. “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.”
While its output is low, Saudi Arabia does produce electricity via natural gas, but energy produced from that source is all consumed domestically. The country is currently planning to develop nuclear power in order to better cover local demand and conserve oil for lucrative export; Saudi Arabia’s sale of oil around the world last year accounted for a very large part of its $600 billion economy.
With concerns also growing regarding the overuse of Saudi Arabia’s water – the country consumes 250 liters per citizen each day, most of that provided through energy-hungry desalination plants – those dependent on the nation’s energy resources are facing a number of looming problems that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.