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Saudis May Have Fifth-Largest Shale Reserves, Baker Hughes Says

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April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia may hold as much as 645 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, according to an estimate by Baker Hughes Inc.

“This number will put Saudi Arabia as the fifth-largest holder of shale gas behind China, the U.S., Argentina and Mexico,” Robert Kennedy, lead petroleum engineer at Baker Hughes, said today at a Society of Petroleum Engineers conference in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

China is the world’s largest holder of technically recoverable shale gas resources with around 1,275 trillion cubic feet followed by the U.S. with 862 trillion cubic feet, according to estimates from 32 countries published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration last year. The study didn’t include Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom has about 279 trillion cubic feet of proven conventional gas reserves, according to Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s 2010 annual report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Khobar, Saudi Arabia at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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