The GCC’s hydrocarbon reserves are estimated to be worth around $65 trillion at current export prices, according to a new report by QNB Capital. This is almost a third of the $200 trillion value of the world’s oil and gas reserves, QNB said.
The value of the reserves is equivalent to 47 times the GCC’s estimated GDP in 2011 and 125 times the estimated $521 billion that the region’s governments received in oil and gas revenue last year, the report said.
In terms of volumes, the GCC’s 495 billion barrels of oil account for 36 per cent of global oil reserves and its 42 trillion cubic metres of gas are 22 per cent of global gas reserves.
Saudi Arabia represents almost half the region’s total reserves, followed by the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, each of which have around a sixth of the total. Oman has 1.2 per cent of the reserves and Bahrain has the least in the region.
Globally, the rest of the MENA region-mainly Iraq and Iran- account for the next largest share of hydrocarbon reserves at 23 per cent, followed by Europe and Eurasia-primarily Russia and Kazakhstan- at 16 per cent.
“These estimates are only indicative as hydrocarbons prices are volatile and hard to predict given that they are influenced by a number of factors including world economic growth, geo-political risk, energy efficiency and technological advancements,” QNB said in the report. “If the lower hydrocarbon prices recorded in 2009, which can be seen as a worst case scenario, were used in QNB Capital’s calculation, then the reserves would be worth (only) $42 trillion,” it said.
QNB Capital assumed a gas price of about $7.5 per thousand cubic feet, an average of US, European and Asian pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import prices.
“It is clear that the GCC’s oil and gas reserves have been, and continue to be, a remarkable asset for the region,” the report said. “Even after decades of extraction to date, QNB Capital estimates that, at current production rates, the current official oil reserves would last for about 70 years and gas for 118 years, on a region-wide basis. Their careful use will therefore shape the GCC’s economic future well into the next century,” it added.