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Meeting with Minister Al-Naimi, tour of Shaybah oil field, and kick-off of International Energy Forum highlight four-day visit

DHAHRAN, SAUDI ARABIA - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman is continuing his four-day visit to the Middle East in Saudi Arabia today, meeting with Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, touring the Aramco headquarters and visiting Aramco's Shaybah oil field.

"Consumers of energy and producers of energy are becoming ever-more intertwined, and a strong, vibrant relationship will help us work together for years to come," Secretary Bodman said. "It's important that we understand each other and recognize each other's needs for both the short and the long terms."

During his meetings with Minister Al-Naimi, Secretary Bodman discussed the relationship between the two nations. Included in that discussion, Secretary Bodman thanked Minister Al-Naimi for Saudi Arabia's help in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and updated him on the efforts to restore petroleum production in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, they discussed Saudi Arabian oil reserves and oil production expansion goals.

This meeting between Secretary Bodman and Minister Al-Naimi follows discussions the two previously held in the United States this past May. During those talks, they discussed ways that Saudi Arabia and the United States could improve communication and enhance our bilateral, commercial and strategic relationship.

Upon his arrival to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Secretary Bodman met with members of the American Business Association - Eastern Province, which is a member of the American Business Council of the Gulf Countries, the umbrella organization of American Chambers in the Persian Gulf. During the meeting, they discussed ways to further develop and foster American business and commercial activities in the region.

Secretary Bodman also visited Shaybah oilfield today, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. With reserves of over 14 billion barrels of crude oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of gas, Shaybah oilfield is one of the largest petroleum sites in the world. The Shaybah oilfield project was opened in 1999.

Also while in Saudi Arabia, Secretary Bodman is expected to participate in the inauguration of the New Permanent Headquarter Office Building of the International Energy Forum Secretariat on Saturday.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940