Saudi Arabia announces higher oil reserves after audit

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest oil producers, says it has 268.5 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, a figure higher than previously known.

The kingdom had previously reported reserves of 266.3 billion barrels of oil.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Ministry also revised upward the country's gas reserves to 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet as of the end of 2017. The revisions come after an independent audit by consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton.

Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Wednesday the reserves are among the lowest cost in the world to recover and the most profitable.

His comments come amid plans for a possible initial public offering in state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, although al-Falih has said any offering of the company would not include the kingdom's oil reserves.

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