OPEC-member Kuwait has reconfirmed that its oil reserves are 100 billion barrels, disputing a report that the figure was around half that amount.
“We confirm that Kuwait’s oil reserves are 100 billion barrels,” acting oil minister Mohammad al-Olaim told reporters after briefing parliament in a closed-door session about the levels of reserves in the Gulf emirate.
The session was called by a number of opposition MPs who demanded the government provide the exact figures of reserves amid fears that they were much less than the officially announced figures.
In January 2006, the authoritative industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) reported that Kuwait’s oil reserves stood at 48 billion barrels, based on internal Kuwaiti records seen by the newsletter. The PIW report also claimed that Kuwait’s fully proven reserves amounted to only 24.2 billion barrels.
At the time, Kuwaiti oil officials said the report was not entirely correct and that it failed to take into account undeveloped reservoirs.
However the debate looks set to continue: Olaim declined to specify yesterday if the reserves were all proven or not. One of the two MPs said “the minister did not provide concrete evidence about the size of the reserves.”