Saudi Arabia vows to slash oil exports after price slide

Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia will slash its oil exports in January by 10 per cent compared to November, its energy minister said Wednesday as producers move to shore up tumbling prices.

"The results point out that the kingdom's reserves of oil and gas are bigger than what we have been announcing", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told a news conference in Riyadh.

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 chose to end a production cut deal in May.

For nearly 30 years - despite rising production, large swings in oil prices and improved technology - Riyadh had annually reported the same number for reserves at around 261 billion barrels, according to a statistical review by BP.

The Kingdom's share of the Partitioned Zone oil reserves (onshore and offshore combined) is 2.9 billion barrels and the corresponding gas reserves is 4.9 Tcf (Trillion cubic feet).

That the carbon intensity of Saudi Arabia's oil and corresponding gas flaring are among the very lowest in the world, and he called on the industry to use this metric alongside profitability.

Leading consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) conducted the independent certification.

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. But demand was high, at $27 billion, according to HSBC.

Vanessa Coleman

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