Saudi Arabia announces rise in energy reserves, Aramco’s bonds listing in 2021

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Saudi Arabia announced an increase in its oil and gas reserves on Wednesday, January 9.

The country said oil reserves witnessed an increase from 2.2 billion barrels to 263.2 billion barrels while gas reserves increased from 17 trillion cubic feet to 319.5 trillion cubic feet.

With the calculation of the share of the joint field with Kuwait, the oil reserve makes up 266 billion barrels. Saudi Arabia’s reserves of easily recoverable oil have long been the world’s largest.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Minister Khalid al-Falih said that the latest audit “confirms our belief that Aramco is the most valuable company in the world.”

“Independent assessment confirms that each barrel of oil we produce is the most profitable globally,” he added.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said also that Aramco will issue bonds in the second quarter of 2019, will be listed by 2021.

The Saudi oil giant has considered issuing bonds to help finance its planned acquisition of a controlling stake in petrochemical maker SABIC.

The deal is expected to involve the purchase of all or nearly all of the 70 percent stake in SABIC held by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom's top sovereign wealth fund. That implies a deal value of roughly $70 billion, though the acquisition price has not been made public yet.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Aramco will release its financials and reserves when it issues the planned bonds, which will be denominated in US dollars, but added that the expected bond issuance is not linked to the SABIC acquisition.

"The bond issue is intended to give Aramco multiple sources of capital," Falih told reporters.

"With or without the SABIC transaction a company the size of Aramco - its capital program and its capital spend is going to be from $40 to $50 billion a year - it's very prudent they have access to the capital market."

Aramco is working with JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley on the SABIC acquisition, sources previously told

The two banks, along with others, were working on the planned stock market listing of Aramco before the plan to list the company and offer a 5 percent stake to other investors was pulled last year.

The valuation of Aramco would depend on the market but petroleum reserves would be one of the bases for establishing its value, the minister said said.

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