Saudi Arabia Reveals Rise In Oil Reserves And Commits To Aramco Listing

Oil Surges Above $52 on Saudi Assurances China Trade OptimismMore

"Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said it will reduce its exports from eight million barrels per day to 7.2 million and that there will be a further cut of 100,000 barrels per day in February", Essex added.

OPEC and its allies decided last month to cut their overall output by 1.2 million bpd starting January to shore up sliding prices.

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.

That leaves "spare capacity very low, much lower than the 1.5 to 2 million barrels a day which they used to aim for", said Spencer Welch, oil markets executive director at IHS Markit. "We are concerned about volatility in the oil market".

Al-Falih told reporters in Riyadh the bond is "probably going to be in US dollars", and having bonds and commercial paper as one of its sources of capital is "prudent and necessary".

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Members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their partners, who together account for around half of global output, have presided over a supply glut which had sent oil prices tumbling by more than 30 per cent between October and December. "We have seen peaks and drops in prices (that are) completely unjustified by the fundamentals".

Natural gas reserves also grew from 302.3 trillion cubic feet (8.56 trillion cubic metres) to 324.4 trillion cubic feet (9.2 trillion cubic metres), the ministry said.

Allowing an independent company to assess its reserves represents a major shift for Saudi Arabia, which has for decades closely guarded data about its oil and gas industry.

With the calculation of the share of the joint field with Kuwait, the oil reserve makes up 266 billion barrels. Gas reserves totalled 325.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), an increase of 17.2 Tcf over the previous estimate.

Falih said Saudi oil remains among the cheapest in the world to extract, at only US$4 a barrel. Falih said on Wednesday the kingdom would still go ahead, and list the company by 2021. But demand was high, at US$27 billion, according to HSBC. They said that the central bank will be especially cautious about pushing ahead with interest-rate increases after raising them four times a year ago.

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