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Saudis planning to build emergency oil reserve

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest producer, has completed plans to build the world's largest and costliest strategic petroleum reserve as a buffer against attacks on its oil facilities, Petroleum Information International reports.

The Houston-based newsletter says plans for the secret Red Sea project call for a storage capacity of 1.5 billion barrels of crude -- equivalent to almost six months of Saudi Arabia's official production ceiling of 8.5 million barrels a day.

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Such a volume in the $7 billion bombproof storage structure near the Red Sea coast would permit the Saudis to ride out attacks on oil facilities in the Eastern province, Saudi officials told the newsletter.