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Saudi Arabia – Oil & Gas

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of petroleum. It has also the fifth-largest proven natural gas reserves. Saudi Arabia is considered an "energy superpower". It has third highest total estimated value of natural resources, valued at US$34.4 trillion in 2016.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the second-largest proven oil reserves in the world (about 266 billion barrels), coming after Venezuela. The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) continues to identify new fields, expand existing fields, and enhance production. Three new oil fields and two new non-associated gas fields were discovered in 2015. Maximum sustainable crude production capacity is 12million barrels per day, according to Saudi Aramco, and Saudi Arabia plans to maintain that capacity through 2020. In 2016, Saudi Aramco produced 10.5 million barrels per day of crude oil, and total petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbon production rose by 3 percent.

In 2016, Saudi Arabia was the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids (crude oil and petroleum products), with exports mostly destined to Asian and European markets. During that same year, Saudi Arabia was the world's second-largest petroleum liquids producer behind the United States and was the world's second-largest crude oil and lease condensate producer behind Russia. 

Saudi Arabia produced, on average, 12.4 million b/d of petroleum liquids in 2016, of which 10.5 million b/d was crude oil and about 2.0 million b/d was non-crude liquids. Total petroleum liquids production rose by 300,000 b/d in 2016 compared with 2015, marking the second year in a row of robust growth in output. Saudi Arabia's production saw increases in 2015 and 2016 .

Saudi Arabia is the largest consumer of petroleum in the Middle East, particularly in the area of transportation fuels and direct crude oil burn for power generation. Although transportation demand is substantial and growing, an increasing share of crude oil demand is attributable to direct crude oil burn for electric power generation, which can reach as high as 900,000 b/d during summer months. Crude oil and petroleum liquids reserves in the country remain plentiful, but Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its mix of fuels for electric power generation, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy solutions.

Saudi Arabia's economy remains heavily dependent on petroleum exports, which accounted for nearly 75% of total Saudi export value in 2016. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), about 60% of Saudi government's revenues are oil-based.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, most popularly known just as Aramco (formerly Arabian-American Oil Company), is a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran. Saudi Aramco continually engages in oil exploration and development to compensate for declining fields elsewhere; the company plans for long-term production regardless of the current price of oil. As the company's largest oil processing facility and the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world, Abqaiq is the main oil processing center for Arabian Extra Light and Arabian Light crude oils, with a capacity of more than seven million barrels per day (bpd). Saudi Aramco plans to boost oil production at its Marjan offshore oilfield by 300,000 bpd, and expanding production from its Zuluf and Safaniya offshore oilfields is part of the company’s long-term plans.

Saudi Aramco aims to nearly double its gas production to 23 billion scf-d (standard cubic feet per day) over the next decade. In its early phase, the Fadhili gas plant is expected to process 2.5 billion scf-d from onshore and offshore fields and is on track to come on-stream by 2019. The Wasit gas plant currently extracts and processes up to 2.5 billion scf-d of non-associated sour gas from the offshore Arabiyah and Hasbah fields.

More offshore exploration is also under way. Saudi Aramco currently operates at least 16 offshore fields. IKTVA aims to double Saudi Aramco’s domestic spending, from 35 percent of expenditures to 70 percent by 2021.

Saudi Arabia had proved natural gas reserves of 303 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as of January 1, 2017, the fourth-largest in the world behind Russia, Iran, and Qatar. Almost 60% of Saudi Arabia's natural gas production in 2016 came from four fields: Ghawar, Safaniya, Berri, and Zuluf. 

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