Saudi Oil Output Hits Record

Saudi Oil Output Hits RecordSaudi Oil Output Hits Record

Saudi Aramco, which is in the midst of auditing its oil reserves ahead of a planned stock market listing next year, said its crude oil and condensate reserves held steady last year despite record production. The company's daily crude output hit a new high of 10.5 million barrels per day in 2016, according to its annual review released on Thursday, up from 10.2 million bpd in 2015, Reuters reported.

Recoverable crude oil and condensate reserves, meanwhile, totaled 260.8 billion barrels at the end of 2016, little changed from 261.1 billion in 2015. Saudi Arabia's reserves of easily recoverable oil have long been the world's largest. Having an internationally recognized reserves audit has become a key task for Aramco, as it seeks to become the world's most valuable company when it lists a 5% stake in an initial public offering.

A reserves total significantly above or below the 261 billion figure would likely affect Aramco's potential market value in the listing and is being watched closely by investors.

Earlier phases of the audit have supported Aramco's statements on the total size of deposits.

Sadad al-Husseini, a former senior executive at Aramco and now an energy consultant, was impressed the company had added over 1 trillion cubic feet (28.3 billion cubic meters) of proven gas reserves and held proven oil reserves flat, despite producing over 3.6 billion barrels of oil last year.

That showed "both the high level of exploration expertise within the company as well as its commitment to continue to supply ample gas-based feedstock to its domestic industries", he said. Aramco said it had discovered two new oilfields, Jubah and Sahaban, and one new gas field, Hadidah, all located in the Eastern Province, the main oil region in Saudi Arabia and the largest Saudi province with Shias constituting the majority of citizens.

The review did not give an update on the IPO process, which is at the heart of Saudi Arabia's economic transformation plan.

Aramco, the only company undertaking exploration in the kingdom, said oil exports rose to 7.6 million bpd in 2016 from 7.1 million bpd in 2015.  Exports to Asia accounted for 66%, up from 65% in 2015, followed by exports to the United States, whose share dropped to 15.8% from 16.6%.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints