Geology And Geophysics

Top 10 Countries Proven Oil Reserves



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This is a list of countries with proven reachable oil reserves in billions of barrels, and is a rough estimate based on the ability to recover the oil by current technological and economical means.

* list in billions of barrels

Saudi Arabia - 264

Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of petroleum in the world, maintains low production costs when comparable to other countries, and plays a leading role in OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries; an international organization made up of eleven petroleum producing nations).

Canada - 179

Alberta's Athabasca Oil Sands Project puts Canada in the second spot on this top ten list of proven oil reserves. Current surface mining techniques and in-situ methods to extract bitumen from the oil sands make for an overwhelmingly positive future for Canada's oilfield industry.

Iran - 133

Iran's economy relies heavily on oil export revenues, and as oil prices rise, Iran's economy improves. Iran is in the process of diversifying by investing some of it's oilfield reserves into other areas, such as petrochemicals; and is in the process of creating more favorable climates for foreign investment.

Iraq - 115

According to oil industry experts, new exploration may raise Iraq's reserves up to 300 billion barrels. This has created global foreign interest to re-establish business development within the country. The US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Japan all vie for major concessions complicated by unrest in the post-Saddam Hussein era.

Kuwait - 102

Though the loss has been estimated at 2% of total oil reserves, Kuwait has recovered fully from the invasion of Iraq. The KPC, or Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, has grown to become one of the ten largest oilfield companies in the world.

United Arab Emirates - 98

At one time an underdeveloped region, by 1985 the United Arab Emirates had the highest per capita income in the world. The largest areas of petroleum production occur in two of the seven constituent parts of the UAE.; these being Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi qualifies as a oil state in the same sense as Kuwait.

Venezuela - 80

Venezuela is the fifth largest oil exporter in the world, and a founding member of OPEC. Oilfield output has been hampered at times due to protest and controversy, but the country remains an active contributor to the world supply of oil.

Russia - 60

Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the second largest coal reserves, and the eighth largest oilfield reserves. The country is the world's largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest oil exporter. Reorganization of the Russian Energy Sector has shown improvements for the industry over the last few years.

Libya - 39

Though sanctions against Libya had been removed by The United States, and also by The United Nations, some Libyan authorities caution foreign optimism about prospective development in the country's socialist driven economy. Nonetheless, the removal of sanctions allows Libya to drive forward.

Nigeria - 36

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, and is a major oil supplier to both the United States and Western Europe. Proven oilfield reserves are expected to be expanded to 40 billion barrels by the year 2010.

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