Saudis raise oil reserves ahead of Aramco's planned IPO

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The world's largest crude oil seller exported around 7.3 mbpd of crude in December and 7.9 mbpd in November, according to the report.

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

Saudi Arabia had a target to lower output to 10.311 million bpd as of January 1, when the supply cut accord took effect.

The falling inventories came amid rising crude imports, which recorded an average of 7.8 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, the report said.

Saudi Arabia plans to sell a stake in Aramco as part of its Vision 2030 programme, the kingdom's overarching economic overhaul agenda, which is aimed at weaning the kingdom off oil income.

"We are serious about restoring balance to the market", Falih said at a press conference in Riyadh. "We have seen peaks and drops in prices (that are) completely unjustified by the fundamentals".

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But prices have partially rebounded in the past few days after a new deal, in which OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers agreed to trim output by 1.2 million bpd, came into effect in January.

Of these, the estimated proven oil and gas reserves in Saudi Aramco's concession area were 261 billion barrels of oil and 302.3 trillion standard cubic feet of gas.

It said the new figures have been backed by an independent third-party certification by leading consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M).

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia announced a slight rise in its crude oil reserves on Wednesday after they were independently audited, providing more detail about the size of deposits shrouded in secrecy for decades.

The funding program "will be sustained over time as Saudi Aramco grows and undertakes its capital program", al-Falih said. "This reflects the continued direction and support provided to the Saudi petroleum industry by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense", Al-Falih said.

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