Petroleum reserves refer to the estimated amount of oil that can be extracted from the earth’s crust using current technology and economic conditions. These reserves are usually categorized as proven, probable, and possible reserves, depending on the level of certainty surrounding their extraction. Proven reserves are the most certain and are defined as those that can be extracted with reasonable certainty under current economic and technological conditions. Probable and possible reserves are less certain, and their extraction may require further technological advancements or changes in economic conditions.
A “barrel” is a unit of measurement for crude oil and petroleum products. One barrel equals 42 US gallons or approximately 159 liters. Therefore, when we talk about “billion barrels” of petroleum reserves, we are referring to the estimated volume of crude oil or petroleum products that a country possesses in its natural resources. For example, when we say that Venezuela has 300.9 billion barrels of petroleum reserves, it means that Venezuela has an estimated 300.9 billion barrels of crude oil and other petroleum products that can be extracted from its natural resources.
- Nigeria – 37.1 billion barrels
- Libya – 48.4 billion barrels
- Russia – 80 billion barrels
- United Arab Emirates – 97.8 billion barrels
- Kuwait – 101.5 billion barrels
- Iraq – 142.5 billion barrels
- Iran – 158.4 billion barrels
- Canada – 169.7 billion barrels
- Saudi Arabia – 266.5 billion barrels
- Venezuela – 300.9 billion barrels
Nigeria – 37.1 billion barrels
Nigeria is a major producer of crude oil and has significant petroleum reserves. As of January 2021, Nigeria had an estimated 37.1 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, making it the largest oil producer in Africa and the 10th largest in the world. The country’s oil is mainly found in the Niger Delta region, which is known for its complex geology and challenging operating environment. The Nigerian government and international oil companies are continuously exploring and developing new oil fields to maintain and increase the country’s oil production.
Libya – 48.4 billion barrels
Libya has an estimated 48.4 billion barrels of proven petroleum reserves, which makes it the ninth country in the world with the largest oil reserves. The majority of Libya’s oil reserves are located in the Sirte Basin, which is a large sedimentary basin located in the center of the country. Oil and gas production are the backbone of Libya’s economy, accounting for around 60% of its GDP and 95% of its export revenues. The country has been facing challenges in maintaining production due to political instability and conflicts in recent years.
Russia – 80 billion barrels
Russia is one of the largest producers of oil and has significant petroleum reserves. As of 2021, it is estimated to have around 80 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, which is the sixth-largest in the world. Some of the major oil fields in Russia include the West Siberian, Volga-Ural, and Timan-Pechora fields. The oil industry plays a crucial role in Russia’s economy, accounting for a significant portion of its export revenues.
United Arab Emirates – 97.8 billion barrels
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is estimated to have around 97.8 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, according to the latest data from the Oil & Gas Journal. This makes the UAE the seventh largest holder of oil reserves in the world.
Kuwait – 101.5 billion barrels
Kuwait is one of the top 10 countries in the world with the largest petroleum reserves. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), as of January 2022, Kuwait had an estimated 101.5 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, which is about 6% of the world’s total reserves. The country is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its economy is heavily dependent on oil exports.
Iraq – 142.5 billion barrels
Iraq is home to the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves, with an estimated 142.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2021. The country has been producing oil for over a century, with the majority of its reserves located in the southern part of the country. Iraq’s oil production has fluctuated over the years due to political instability, sanctions, and conflict, but the country remains a major player in the global oil industry.
Iran – 158.4 billion barrels
Iran has the fourth-largest petroleum reserves in the world with estimated reserves of 158.4 billion barrels.
Canada – 169.7 billion barrels
Canada is one of the largest producers of oil in the world and has significant petroleum reserves. According to the latest estimates, Canada has 169.7 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, primarily located in the oil sands of Alberta. The oil sands are a mixture of sand, clay, water, and a dense and viscous form of petroleum called bitumen. While the extraction and processing of bitumen can be challenging and have environmental impacts, the reserves are a valuable resource for Canada’s economy and energy security.
Saudi Arabia – 266.5 billion barrels
Saudi Arabia is indeed one of the top oil-producing countries in the world with the largest proven oil reserves of 266.5 billion barrels as of 2021, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. The country has been a major player in the global oil industry for many years, and oil exports account for a significant portion of the country’s economy. The state-owned company Saudi Aramco is responsible for most of the country’s oil production and exploration activities.
Venezuela – 300.9 billion barrels
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, estimated at 300.9 billion barrels. The country’s oil reserves are primarily located in the Orinoco Belt, which is one of the largest oil fields in the world. Despite having such vast reserves, Venezuela has been facing numerous challenges in recent years, including declining production due to underinvestment and mismanagement, as well as international sanctions.