The external audit of the oil reserves of Saudi Aramco ahead of its planned IPO has confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s oil giant has more than 261 billion barrels of reserves, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources in the know.
On Thursday, news broke that Saudi Aramco had hired two U.S. firms - a unit of Baker Hughes and a Dallas-based reserves auditing firm to look into how much oil reserves it really has. Saudi Aramco had tasked Baker Hughes’ energy consulting services unit Gaffney, Cline & Associates, as well as Dallas-based DeGolyer and MacNaughton, to perform the reserves auditing, various sources have told Reuters.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the news of Aramco hiring Gaffney, Cline & Associates, Saudi Aramco had hired Gaffney, Cline & Associates late last year and its audit is now complete.
Today, sources told Reuters that the independent audit of the reserves produced no surprises, and generally confirmed the company’s own assessment.
According to Aramco’s own estimates, the Saudi oil giant has 261.1 billion barrels of crude oil and condensate reserves. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Saudi Arabia’s total proved reserves were 266.6 billion barrels at the end of 2015. Related: Robots Over Roughnecks: Next Drilling Boom Might Not Add Many Jobs
“Aramco’s reserves have always been reported internally in line with international practice,” a source familiar with the issue told Reuters.
According to two more sources, the audit has found that the reserves were “definitely not below” Aramco’s own estimates.
In view of next year’s share listing, Saudi Aramco is required to provide independent audit of its reserves. Significantly higher or lower reserves would greatly change the evaluation of the company, which Saudi officials say is worth around US$2 trillion.
Ahead of its planned IPO, Saudi Aramco is also on the hunt for advisers and was said to have recently sent requests for proposals to several investment banks that could become advisers in the process.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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