Back toour markets

Saudi Arabia Overview

Saudi Arabia

in figures

Oil Reserves266.2 billion barrels

Oil Production12 million bopd

Gas Reserves8.0 tcm

Gas Production111.4 bcm

Saudi Arabia: Dominance and Diversification

As the second-largest crude oil producer and the largest oil exporter in the world, Saudi Arabia found itself at the heart of the storm when the oil price dropped in the summer of 2014. Historically, the country has often acted as a swing producer, adapting its production to either drive up or suppress the oil price. But feeling the threat of the US shale boom and growing competition from developing markets, the country kept up production this time around, producing 12 million bopd on average in 2015, showing it was willing to fight to maintain its market share. Finally, in late 2016, Saudi Arabia agreed with OPEC on a 1.2-million-bopd cut to its production, which stood at 10 million bopd as of October 2017. The country’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources worked to extend the cuts through 2017, seeing a deal reached in May of that year.

Saudi Aramco began 2016 with a landmark IPO announcement, saying it could privatise some downstream subsidiaries and offer “an appropriate percentage” of its shares on the stock market. It was later revealed that Aramco would become a holding company, with publicly listed subsidiaries. Proceeds from the IPO, estimated to be in the range of USD 100 billion-150 billion, will be directed towards a sovereign wealth fund for strategic in-country investments. In the meanwhile, the company is keeping investment at a high level. In September 2016, it was announced that Aramco would be spending USD 334 billion between 2016 and 2025. The company will invest in infrastructure, maintenance, power plants, drilling projects, and the development of unconventional resources such as shale oil.

While Saudi Arabia has more than 100 different producing fields, eight of them alone are responsible for the majority of the country’s oil production. Most notable is the Ghawar field, which, with a production of 5.8 million bopd and estimated reserves of 60 billion-70 billion barrels of Arabian Light crude, is the world’s biggest oilfield. A second record belonging to Saudi Arabia’s oil industry is set by the Safaniya field, the world’s largest offshore oilfield. Safaniya is located north of Dammam, in the Gulf, and boasts a production of 1.2 million bopd. The field is estimated to hold reserves of up to 37 billion barrels. Saudi Arabia also holds the world’s sixth-largest natural gas reserves, after Iran, Russia, Qatar, Turkmenistan and the US. The country uses all gas produced and does not trade its gas. Recently, the government has shown interest in developing its natural gas resources to boost its petrochemical and power generation sectors. According to the National Transformation Programme 2020, a government programme launched in June 2016, Saudi Arabia is looking to increase efficiency while utilising hydrocarbons during power generation.

For a comprehensive view of Saudi Arabia’s market, see The Oil & Gas Year Saudi Arabia 2018.

Aramco, SABIC reassess oil-to-chemicals complex
Saudi Arabia - October 19, 2020

Saudi Aramco and SABIC are reconsidering an oil-to-chemicals mega-project, looking to integrate existing facilities instead,…

Safwat Hakam Rockwell Saudi
Saudi Arabia - September 01, 2020

Safwat Hakam, country director at Rockwell Automation, talks to The Energy Year about shifts the company has seen in the wake of…

Saudi Aramco makes oil, gas discoveries
Saudi Arabia - September 01, 2020

Saudi Aramco has announced the discovery of two hydrocarbons fields in Saudi Arabia.

On Sunday, the country’s energy…

Sylvain BENOIT
Saudi Arabia - August 18, 2020

Sylvain Benoit, executive vice-president of catering and facilities for Saudi Airlines Catering, talks to The Energy Year about…

Saudi Arabia’s Onshore and Offshore Fields and Pipelines Map

Saudi Arabia maps

Saudi Arabia’s Onshore and Offshore Fields and Pipelines

Saudi Arabia Webinar: Leveraging the crisis to build local strength
Saudi Arabia - August 06, 2020

The Energy Year’s Saudi Arabia webinar examined local content, digitalisation and the business relationship with national…

Edward David Brown
Saudi Arabia - July 30, 2020

Edward David Brown, general manager of Britam Arabia, talks to The Energy Year about positive changes in doing business due to…

Zaher Ibrahim Baker Hughes
Saudi Arabia - July 15, 2020

Zaher Ibrahim, Baker Hughes’ vice-president for Saudi Arabia, the North Gulf and the East Mediterranean, talks to The Energy Year about the importance of having a…

Muntaser Kalaji INMA Steel
Saudi Arabia - July 07, 2020

Muntaser Kalahji, managing director of INMA Steel, talks to The Energy Year about opportunities for Saudi manufacturers in light of the Covid-19 crisis and the outlook…

Ziad Jeha Schlumberger
Saudi Arabia - July 02, 2020

Ziad Jeha, Schlumberger’s president for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, talks to The Energy Year about how the company has dealt with the challenges of Covid-19 and the…

back to top



  • Do you have a question for TOGY about oil and gas?
  • If we know, we’ll tell you.
  • If not, we’ll ask the experts in the field.