KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Kuwait has added at least 12 billion barrels of crude oil to its reserves, which are estimated at over 100 billion barrels, following a comprehensive study, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Citing well-informed oil sources, Al-Jarida daily said the new oil was found in Greater Burgan, the world’s second largest oilfield after Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, with reserves estimated at close to 70 billion barrels.
The sources told the paper that more reserves have been discovered at a number of other reservoirs following a comprehensive study, which will boost the Gulf state’s reserves – the credibility of which has been questioned in the past.
In April, Kuwait’s deputy premier for economic affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al-Sabah told a symposium that Burgan reserves were in fact higher than published figures.
Sheikh Ahmad, a former energy minister, also said that new reserve figures would be announced covering all Kuwaiti reservoirs.
According to OPEC data, Kuwait holds the world’s fifth largest crude reserves at 101.5 billion barrels after Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq.
Industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) however said in January 2006 that Kuwait’s oil reserves stood at 48 billion barrels only, based on internal 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 inaccurate and that it failed to take into account undeveloped reservoirs.
On October 4, neighbouring Iraq announced a sharp rise of its crude reserves from 115 billion barrels to 143.1 billion barrels, overtaking Iran, OPEC’s third largest member, in terms of reserves.
But a week later, Tehran also boosted its crude reserves, citing new discoveries, to 150.3 billion barrels from 138 billion barrels, reclaiming third place.