Saudi Arabia announces rise in oil, gas reserves

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 10, 2019

Saudi Arabia announced an increase in its oil and gas reserves on Wednesday, January 9.

Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom, the world's top crude supplier, would cut its exports to 7.2 million barrels per day in January, down from 8.0 million bpd in November.

Currently, Saudi Arabia is part of Opec+, an alliance that includes the exporters group and countries led by Russian Federation who agreed to trim their collective output by 1.2 million bpd starting this month.

The kingdom lowered its production by 420,000 bpd to 10.65 million bpd in December after pumping more than 11 million bpd in November, according to a Bloomberg survey.

They have partially rebounded in the past few days after a new deal came into effect, under which Opec and non-Opec oil producers agreed to trim output by 1.2 million bpd.

But yesterday, Brent crude for March delivery hit US$60, up 20 per cent on the figure two weeks ago, prior to a deal between Opec members and other major producers to cut output from January 1.

Saudi Arabia's reserves of easily recoverable oil have always been the world's largest but few details were public.

The energy ministry said proven oil reserves stood at 263.2 billion barrels at the end of past year, up from the figure of 261 billion barrels that has been used for nearly three decades.

For nearly 30 years - despite rising production, large swings in oil prices and improved technology - Riyadh has annually reported the same number for reserves at around 261 billion barrels, according to a statistical review by BP.

Consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton carried out the audit.

Falih said Saudi oil remains among the cheapest in the world to extract, at only US$4 a barrel. Total gas reserves, including those in the shared zone, were revised up 5.6 per cent to 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet, the company added.

USA oil production a year ago outpaced that of Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, thanks to rising shale oil output.

The operation was not fully concluded, so the interest rates have not yet been calculated.

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