Saudi Arabia has declared a state of emergency for the coming days, and the country’s oil industry is preparing for a worst-case scenario of a rapid global warming crisis.
The kingdom’s National Oil Company said on Monday it will start pumping more crude oil from the Black Sea to the Gulf of Aden, and will open up more ports for imports from the Gulf in the coming weeks.
The company also said it will begin importing water from the Red Sea.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top producers of oil and gas.
In the coming months, the kingdom will likely be forced to curtail its oil output, and if the situation worsens, it may also have to shut down some of its biggest and most productive fields.
The Kingdom has been struggling with a severe drought in recent years.
It was declared a drought emergency in October, and on Thursday the drought situation worsened, with water levels in some areas falling to more than 20 feet (6 meters).
The government declared a 30-day drought on March 30, and is planning to start pumping water again on Friday.
The situation is so dire that Saudi Arabia’s top oil executive, Ali Al-Naimi, said in a statement on Monday that “we cannot stop pumping.”
“Our country has no choice but to continue to do our part and to continue with all the resources at our disposal,” Al-Omari said.