The Aramco Research Center in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Kramer
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KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia/DUBAI: When Saudi Aramco reveals a Western audit of its oil reserves, investors will be looking for two answers: How much oil and how much detail?For nearly 30 years – despite rising production, wild swings in oil prices and improved technology – Riyadh has annually reported the same number for reserves of 261 billion barrels, according to BP's statistical review.Exxon revised its reserves down last month.Over a decade ago, Shell's stock price collapsed after the company said it had overstated its reserves by 20 percent.Publicly traded oil companies such as BP and Shell with assets distributed globally give more detail than just a headline figure, including reserves by geographic location and whether these are developed or undeveloped. However, they do not give reserves by individual field – and for Aramco that is precisely what investors want, because its oil is concentrated in one country, Saudi Arabia.Aramco's precise level of disclosure has yet to be decided, the source familiar with the plans said.He noted that Western majors do not list reserves by field.
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