Country intelligence report: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest oil producing countries and it is the main driver of OPEC. It is currently keeping oil production high to cripple the economies of Russia and Iran and indirectly slow the U.S. shale boom.
By Eric R. Eissler February 1, 2015

Basic Facts:

Capital: Riyadh

Population: 27,345,986 (CIA World Factbook)

Map of Saudi Arabia. Courtesy: the CIA World Factbook

Quick Figures: All figures provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration

-Saudi Arabia has 16% of the world’s proved oil reserves and maintains the world’s largest crude oil production capacity.

-More than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves are located in eight fields. The Ghawar field is the world’s largest oilfield with estimated remaining reserves of 75 billion barrels.

-Saudi Arabia is the second-largest petroleum exporter to the U.S., after Canada.

Hydrocarbons: All figures provided by the BP Statistical Review

Oil reserves at end of 2013: 265.9 billion barrels of oil

Oil production in 2013: 11.5 million barrels of oil per day (bopd)

Natural gas reserves at end of 2013 : 8.2 tcm

Natural gas production in 2013: 103 bcm

Major Companies Working in the Country:

State-owned Saudi Aramco

Russia’s Gazprom

National Iranian Oil Company

Super-major ExxonMobil

China’s PetroChina

Super-major BP

Royal Dutch Shell

Mexico’s Pemex

Super-major Chevron

Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

Major Projects:

· The $7 billion Petro Rabigh Petrochemicals Complex due for completion in 2016

· SaBuCo butanol plant in Jubail valued at $517 million to be built by Daelim of South Korea

· The $4.7 billion Al-Wasit Gas Program Project, which will increase the country’s capacity by 21%

· Saudi Aramco’s Jizan Refinery in the city of Bish, valued at $1.4 billion with a refining capacity of 400,000 barrels of oil per day to be completed at the end of 2015

Since Saudi Arabia is a long-time producer and one of the largest oil producers in the world, many of the construction projects for the short to medium term are to construct facilities that are not related to oil, but rather gas projects, infrastructure and transportation. Gas has been an overlooked asset in Saudia Arabia as much of it is flared and the county’s gas needs are met by imports. Flag of Saudi Arabia. Courtesy: the CIA World Factbook

Examples of the infrastructure and civil projects are the Riyadh Metro, expansion to the King Abdulaziz International Airport, housing projects, universities, the Haramain high-speed railway and Abraj Kudai in Mecca; a massive skyscraper that could be considered a city within a building. Due to the low price of oil, hydrocarbon-related projects have slowed, while civil projects are booming.

-Eric R. Eissler, associate editor, Oil & Gas Engineering, CFE Media. eeissler@cfemedia.com 

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