Saudis set to lift the veil on true scale of its oil reserves

by WorldTribune Staff, November 18, 2016

Saudi Arabia is about to reveal a state secret that it has kept the lid on since the 1980s – the true amount of its oil reserves.

The kingdom will make the disclosure as it prepares for the 2018 initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco that could bring in some $100 billion.

Saudi has not updated the amount of its official reserves since the 1980s.
Saudi has not revised the amount of its official reserves since the 1980s.

“Everything that Saudi Aramco has, that will be shared, that will be verified by independent third parties,” Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, told the Financial Times. That would include, “reserves … costs [and] profitability indicators.”

“This is going to be the most transparent national oil company listing of all time,” he said.

Saudi has not revised its official reserves for years, which have stood at 260 billion barrels since the 1980s.

Analysts have no doubt that Saudi Arabia has some of the largest oil reserves in the world, perhaps rivaled only by Venezuela, but there is skepticism over exactly how much crude the kingdom is sitting on.

At 75 billion barrels, the Saudi oilfield at Ghawar is the world’s largest. But Ghawar has been producing since the 1950s and currently produces more than 5 million barrels per day.

Analysts believe that Saudi Arabia can continue to pump at its current levels for another seven decades.

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