Kuwait sees bigger reserves at top oilfield

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The world's second-largest oilfield contains more oil than previously estimated, Kuwait's state news agency reported a top official as saying on Thursday. OPEC-member Kuwait is the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, and sits on around 8 percent of global reserves. The Greater Burgan area is second only to Saudi Arabia's Ghawar oilfield in size, according to U.S. government data.

"Oil reserves in the Burgan field are much greater than what had been circulated," agency KUNA said, citing Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, the Gulf Arab state's deputy prime minister for economic affairs.

Sheikh Ahmad gave no details on how much oil the field could hold. The area, which encompasses the Burgan, Magwa and Ahmadi fields, was previously estimated to hold around 70 billion barrels, or around 70 percent of Kuwait's 101.5 billion barrels of reserves, according to U.S. government data.

Sheikh Ahmad said Kuwait would issue a new estimate for oil reserves in the near future.

Reserves in Kuwait became a sensitive issue in 2006, when industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Week (PIW) said it had seen internal records showing reserves were about 48 billion barrels, or about half of what was officially stated.

Kuwait officials have disputed the lower estimates.

Kuwait pumped around 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in March, according to a Reuters survey. (Reuters)

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