January 9, 2019 / 7:55 AM / 6 months ago

Saudi Arabia to announce slight rise in oil, gas reserves after audit: source

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is expected to announce a slight rise in its crude oil and gas reserves on Wednesday after being independently audited, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Saudi Arabia’s reserves of easily recoverable oil have long been the world’s largest.

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

An independent external audit of Saudi Aramco’s oil reserves - an essential part of the preparatory work for its planned initial public offering - found the state oil giant to have higher oil and gas reserves than it previously reported, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in April.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih is due to hold a news conference in Riyadh on Wednesday to make the announcement at around 11.30 local time (0830 GMT).

He is also expected to provide further updates on the country’s energy strategy.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal, editing by Louise Heavens

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