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Saudi Arabian power-sector expansion burns up crude

SAUDI Arabia is consuming increasing amounts of crude oil in the power sector, burdening the country with an inefficient method of electricity generation

The response from Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, will be to boost refining capacity. With two new 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) export refineries due on stream in 2013-14 (see p23), the power sector will be able to burn heavy fuel oil instead of crude, leaving the higher quality refined products for export. Aramco's newly released 2009 Annual Review confirms an 8.5% rise in Saudi Arabia's crude oil consumption last year to 2.26m b/d, with production falling from 8.9m b/d in 2008 to 7.9m b/d in 2009 as a result of Opec output restraint. Soaring demand for electricity, from a power sector starved of natural-gas feedstock, has forced the rise in domestic oil consumption. Saudi power pla

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