Arab region key to global oil supplies: Saudi minister

Addressing the Arab Energy Conference in Doha on Monday, he said: "In 2008, the Arab region accounted for about 58 per cent of the total global oil reserves and 30 per cent of natural gas reserves.""Fossil fuel is one of the most important sources of energy and will continue to play a key role as a main source of energy for many decades to come.

"Out of consideration for the environment, we must all focus on making oil available and environmentally friendly through advanced technologies. Based on this premise, we, as oil producing and exporting countries, have no choice but to focus on technology and demonstrate a powerful, active and scientific international presence and participation in issues related to powerful and the environment," al-Naimi added.

At the regional level, Arab countries are confronted with a set of similar challenges and issues in the oil industry and policies, and in energy in general. "We have no alternative but to encourage and facilitate joint ventures and investments undertaken by the private sector and to promote synergy in technical education, studies and research, coupled with exchange of energy industry expertise.

We must always remember that the educated and trained human element is the most precious of our assets and one of our greatest priorities. It is also important that the Arab states co-operate in energy issues on regional and global levels," al-Naimi said.

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