Global Oil Reserves

Introduction

(click image to enlarge)
Source: EIA Beta International

Reserve values are in billion barrel units.
Year 2016


Venezuela300
Saudi Arabia 267
Canada 171
Iran 158
Iraq 143
Kuwait 102
United Arab Emirates 98
Russia 80
Libya 48
Nigeria 37
United States 35
Kazakhstan 30
Qatar 25
China 25
Brazil 16


The above chart is for proved oil reserves in the specified countries. A "proved" reserve is one which has at least a 90% probability of production, within the constraints of modern technologies, current costs of production, and political conditions.


Peak Oil

Petroleum is not a renewable commodity and must, therefore, have a finite limit to the amount that can be recovered. Estimates of how long either national or global oil reserves will last, given both technological and economic limitations to extraction, is an important aspect of the study of petroleum supply.


The term "peak oil" refers to a point in time when the rate of extraction of oil from available resources reaches its maximum and begins a decline toward a terminal end point. There can be a number of reasons contributing to this limit, but most considerations boil down to exhaustion of the available supply that can be extracted at a cost which is profitable.


On a global level, there is ongoing debate regarding the timing of peak oil in Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries. The efforts to predict such events are complicated by the lack of reliable data from OPEC countries regarding their current petroleum reserves and the historical rates of decline in those reserves.