United States now holds more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia – study

Global cars could double from 1 billion to 2 billion cars over next 30 years

By Per Magnus Nysveen, head of analysis, Rystad Energy

A new independent estimate of world oil reserves has been released by Rystad Energy, showing that the US now holds more recoverable oil reserves than both Saudi Arabia and Russia.

For the US, more than 50 per cent of remaining oil reserves is unconventional shale oil. Texas alone holds more than 60 billion barrels of shale oil, according to this new data.

The new reserves data from Rystad Energy also distinguishes between reserves in existing fields, in new projects, potential reserves in recent discoveries, and even in yet undiscovered fields.

An established standard approach for estimating reserves is applied to all fields in all countries, so reserves can be compared apple to apple across the world, both for OPEC and non-OPEC countries, Rystad Energy said in a press release.

Other public sources of global oil reserves, like the BP Statistical Review, are based on official reporting from national authorities, reporting reserves based on a diverse and opaque set of standards.

Some OPEC countries like Venezuela report official reserves apparently including yet undiscovered oil, while others like China and Brazil officially report conservative estimates and only for existing fields.

Based on current global crude and condensate production of 81.2 million b/d, or 30 billion barrels a year, the world’s oil reserves would last 71 years, Rystad said.

For comparison, cumulatively produced oil up to 2015 amounts to 1300 billion barrels.

Unconventional oil recovery accounts for 30 per cent of the global recoverable oil reserves while offshore accounts for 33 per centof the total.

The seven major oil companies hold less than 10 per cent of the total.

This data confirms that there is a relatively limited amount of recoverable oil left on the planet.

With the global auto fleet possibly doubling from 1 billion to 2 billion cars over the next 30 years, it becomes very clear that oil alone cannot satisfy the growing need for individual transport, said Rystad.

 

 

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