Saudi Arabia says vast oil reserves even bigger than thought

Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter

Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter More

The audit was carried out by Dallas-based consultancy DeGolyer and MacNaughton.

The audit is expected to help pave the way for the sale of a 5 per cent stake in Aramco, the world's biggest oil producing company that is seeking local and worldwide listings by 2021.

The audit will dispel scepticism in the oil industry about the size of Saudi reserves and provide assurance for potential investors in Aramco investors, should the initial public offering which has been delayed eventually go ahead.

Al-Falih said that these vast reserves are among the lowest cost in the world, backed by world-leading economies of scale, and that the carbon intensity of Saudi Arabia's oil and corresponding gas flaring are among the very lowest in the world.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it would slash its oil exports by 800,000 barrels per day in January and promised further cuts as producers move to shore up tumbling prices. "We believe that having bonds and commercial paper as one of its sources of capital is prudent and necessary".

The deal is reportedly valued at $70 billion, but no amount has been confirmed by the companies.

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He said that Aramco would also issue bonds in the second-quarter of the year and that company financial details would be published as part of that process.

"Bond purchasers require a lot of disclosure, so there will be plenty more information about Aramco's operations in the prospectus".

"China trade talks and firm commitments made by Saudi Arabia to cut oil production", he said.

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

"We have seen peaks and drops in prices (that are) completely unjustified by the fundamentals".

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