Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that its huge oil reserves, already the second largest in the world behind only Venezuela, are even bigger than previously thought.
Saudi Arabia announcement came after an external audit was started as part of preparations for the initial public offering of state oil company Aramco.
The Saudi Energy Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA that Saudi Arabia’s proven oil and gas reserves stood at around 268.5 billion barrels of oil and 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet of gas as of the end of 2017.
Natural gas reserves also grew from 8.56 trillion cubic meters (302.3 trillion cubic feet) to 9.2 trillion cubic meters (324.4 trillion cubic feet), the ministry said.
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“The results point out that the kingdom’s reserves of oil and gas are bigger than what we have been announcing,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told a news conference in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia said the new figures have been backed by an independent third-party certification by leading consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M).
Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter. It is the third biggest producer after the United States and Russia with around 10.6 million barrels per day.
Falih said Saudi oil remains among the cheapest in the world to extract, at only $4 a barrel.
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