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|16 January, 2019

Saudi Arabia 'studying extension of gas network with UAE, Oman'

Al-Falih predicted that domestic energy consumption would decrease by 1.5-2 million barrels per day

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2018.

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2018.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia in studying an expansion of a regional gas network, following an increase in the estimates of the Kingdom’s energy reserves, it was reported Tuesday. 

The Energy Ministry last week announced an upward revision to the Kingdom’s proven oil and gas reserves following an independent certification.

The new estimates suggest the Kingdom has 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet of gas, up from the previous estimate of 307.9 trillion.

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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia was in talks with the UAE and Oman to extend a regional gas network.

“Aramco is seeking to develop gas resources in the Kingdom to meet local needs with potential export in the future,” he was reported as saying.

Al-Falih told reporters on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week conference that he was “very optimistic” about the outlook for the market after oil producers cut output to support flagging prices.

A group known as OPEC+ — which includes members of the producer group and allies such as Russia — last month decided to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day in a bid to shore up prices.

“I am confident that the impact of the decision we took to cut output by 1.2 million bpd ... will be very strong,” Al-Falih was reported as saying by AFP.

“But there is always a lagtime between the (decision to) cut production and the impact reaching the market,” he said.

Al-Falih said he is confident that "within the next few weeks" the market conditions will return to normal and confidence will be restored, adding that he was “very optimistic.” 

The minister downplayed the impact of a global economic slowdown on the oil market.

“I am not ruling out a cyclical recession. I think we all know that these things are a fact of life,” Al-Falih was reported by AFP as saying.

“I just don't see it as a major shock to the global economy. Certainly, I don't see a big spillover into the oil market.”

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