Saudi Arabia revises up its oil reserves

The country has 268.5 billion barrels of proven reserves. Following auditing by DeGolyer and MacNaughton, the previous estimate was raised by 2.2 billion barrels.

From the Newsroom

Riyadh – The Saudi Arabian minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih (pictured), said this Wednesday (9) that the country’s proven oil and gas reserves have been revised up. This came after independent auditing by the US-based consulting firm DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M), which specializes in the oil industry. The information was made public by state-run news outlet Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

According to surveys, the country had 268.5 billion barrels of oil and 325.1 trillion cubic feet of gas by the end of 2017. That includes all areas under concession to state-run oil company Saudi Aramco, and half the reserves in an area that belongs to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The pre-audit estimate was 266.3 billion barrels of oil and 307.9 trillion cubic feet of gas by December 31, 2017.

For the sake of comparison, Brazil’s proven reserves in 2017 were 12.8 billion barrels of oil and 369.9 billion cubic meters of gas, according to data from the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

Reserves under concession to Saudi Aramco are estimated at 263.1 billion barrels of oil and 319.5 trillion cubic feet of gas. The estimate regarding oil increased by 2.2 billion barrels following auditing by D&M, the SPA reported.

The minister also said Saudi reserves have one of the lowest production costs in the world. “This certification underscores why every barrel we produce is the most profitable in the world, and why we believe Saudi Aramco is the world’s most valuable company and indeed the world’s most important,” SPA quoted him as saying.

Saudi Arabia is planning an initial public offering (IPO) for Saudi Aramco. Saudi newspaper Arab News reported that the audit was intended to clear up questions by prospective investors regarding the exact amounts held by the country and its oil company.

Arab News also quoted the minister as saying the IPO is expected for 2021. He noted, however, that Saudi Aramco plans to issue debt bonds in the second quarter of this year.

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency/AFP

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