Saudi Arabia reveals rise in oil, gas reserves

Gladys Abbott
January 12, 2019

Saudi Aramco-whose initial public offering (IPO) touted for 2018 is now all but scrapped-plans to buy 70 percent in Sabic currently in the hands of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia in a deal expected to be worth US$70 billion.

Saudi Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih will arrive in Gwadar tomorrow in connection with the Amarco's proposed oil refinery to be set up in the port city. "We believe that having bonds and commercial paper as one of its sources of capital is prudent and necessary".

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

The energy ministry said that Saudi reserves were 268.5 billion barrels of oil and 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet of gas at the end of 2017, Arab News reported, citing the official Saudi Press Agency. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV took out US$46 billion in 2016 to finance the takeover of SABMiller Plc.

The Aramco bond is "probably going to be in USA dollars", Al-Falih said. "It's not going to be anywhere near the number that's been rumored", he said.

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Saudi state owned oil giant Aramco is interested in setting up an oil refinery at Gwadar.

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

It was the first time Riyadh has tapped global debt markets since the October murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which tarnished Saudi Arabia´s public image.

Oil has ticked upwards again today for its eighth straight session as Opec cuts in the New Year and hopes US-China trade talks pushed prices up. The nation's actual oil and gas holdings are bigger than the announced numbers, which are for proven reserves and don't include those that are probable, Al-Falih told a news conference in Riyadh.

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