Saudi oil reserves close in on world’s top spot

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Time: June 12, 2019  

BP raised its estimates of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil reserves at the end of last year by 12%. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Saudi proved oil reserves were revised to 297.7 billion barrels
  • Increase due to Kingdom reporting separately oil, gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) reserves

Estimates of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil reserves have increased by 12 percent, closing in on Venezuela’s top spot in the world.

In the first major change to the estimated reserves since 1989, BP revised Saudi Arabia’s proved oil reserves to 297.7 billion barrels at the end of 2018 from 266.2 billion a year earlier, only slightly behind 303 billion in Venezuela.

Canada was third with 168 billion barrels, followed by Iran with 156 billion and Iraq with 147 billion.

FASTFACTS

Saudi oil reserves

Saudi Arabia’s proved oil reserves were revised to 297.7 billion barrels at the end of 2018, BP said on Tuesday. The estimate is considerably higher than both its previous estimate and a certification by consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton announced in January. The latter estimate put the Kingdom’s proven oil reserves at the end of 2017 at about 268.5 billion barrels, including reserves in the Partitioned Zone jointly owned by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

In its benchmark 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy, BP recalibrated some Saudi gas reserves as oil after Saudi Arabia started separate reporting of oil, gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) reserves, BP chief economist Spencer Dale said.

Saudi Arabia has begun reporting its reserves as it prepares to float the national energy company Saudi Aramco. The listing was postponed and is now planned for early next decade.

HIGHLIGHTS

• BP revised Saudi Arabia’s proved oil reserves to 297.7 billion barrels at the end of 2018 from 266.2 billion a year earlier.

• BP recalibrated some Saudi gas reserves as oil after KSA started separate reporting of oil, gas and natural gas liquids reserves.

Riyadh has rarely changed its oil reserves estimates in the past, despite pumping 8-10 million barrels per day.

BP also said oil reserves for the US, which became the world’s top producer in 2018, were revised upwards by 22 percent to 61.2 billion barrels from 50 billion barrels at the end of 2017.

Overall, global reserves were little changed at 1,729.7 billion barrels, about 50 years’ supply at current levels of global demand.

This article was first published in Arab News

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