Saudi crude oil reserves up at 268.5bn barrels

An offshore drilling platform stands in shallow waters at the Manifa offshore oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco in Manifa Saudi Arabia on Wednesday Oct. 3 2018. Bloomberg

An offshore drilling platform stands in shallow waters at the Manifa offshore oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco in Manifa Saudi Arabia on Wednesday Oct. 3 2018. Bloomberg

Saudi state oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to issue its first worldwide bonds in the second quarter of 2019, the country's energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said Wednesday, Kallanish Energy reports.

The Kingdom plans to ship about 7.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, down from 7.2 million bpd in January. OPEC and its allies decided last month to cut their overall output by 1.2 million bpd starting in January, to boost prices hit by a supply glut and fears demand could plummet.

Falih said Saudi production had fallen to 10.2 million bpd, down from the roughly 11 million bpd it was pumping when oil producers made a decision to end a production cut deal in May.

Saudi Arabia had a target to lower output to 10.311 million bpd as of January 1, when the supply cut accord took effect.

"We are concerned about volatility in the oil market", he said.

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

In December, the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries chose to reduce oil supply by 1.2 million barrels starting January.

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. The kingdom took a first step in that direction on Wednesday by releasing the first audit of Aramco's oil and gas reserves since 1980. In DeGolyer's view, these contained 213.1 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, compared to 210.9 billion as estimated internally by Aramco.

That debt sale would force the world's largest oil producer to disclose its accounts to investors for the first time since its nationalisation roughly four decades ago.

"We are pursuing a total shift in paradigm in the gas station perception among the public, from what people think of gas stations now as a divergence from a main route to get convenience service to a destination of services on major highways, to work, or simply on the way back home", Al-Gahtani said. Falih said on Wednesday the kingdom would still go ahead, and list the company by 2021. They said that the central bank will be especially cautious about pushing ahead with interest-rate increases after raising them four times previous year.

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