Covering 2 million sq km, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is the largest country in the Middle East and the 14th largest country in the world. Saudi Arabia's size and geology make it rich in minerals, oil and gas, key raw materials for manufacturing and industrial development.
Saudi Arabia has the largest mineral deposits in the Middle East. In the west of the country, the Arabian Shield is a major source of precious and basic minerals such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, chromium, manganese, tungsten, lead, tin, aluminium and iron. Mainly in the east, extensive sedimentary formations contain industrial minerals such as gypsum, feldspar, mica, sulphur and salt.
KSA is also a source of highly prized rare earth elements such as tantalum - for which it has a quarter of the world's reserves - and niobium.
Saudi Arabia's deeper sedimentary formations contain most of its 265 billion barrels of proven and recoverable oil. This vast natural resource represents up to 25% of global oil reserves, more than any other country.
Saudi Arabian oil production began in 1933 and oil exports in 1939. Some eight decades later, KSA has enough oil to last another 80 years at today's extraction rate of 8.5 million-9.5 million barrels a day. Another 100 billion barrels may become available with new technologies, and a further 200 billion barrels may still be undiscovered.
Each day Saudi Arabia extracts over 7.5 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas. More than 240 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are available, giving KSA the world's fourth-largest reserves.