In this piece, we will take a look at the 20 countries that have the largest oil reserves in the world heading into 2023. For more countries, head on over to 5 Countries That Have the Largest Oil Reserves.
Oil production is one of the most watched statistics in the global economy, as it is directly related to global economic output. What's more is that 2022 has been a controversial year for black gold as well, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine upending global oil supply chains and fears of a demand drop forcing Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to cut down their output - even when prices were soaring and an output drawdown could lead them going even higher.
As ubiquitous as it is, global oil reserves are not infinite. With the rising economies of India and China, global oil demand has been steadily rising over the past couple of decades. According to statistics compiled by the International Energy Agency (IEA) oil demand stood at 2.3 million tons in 1971, and had doubled to 4.6 million tons by 2019 - the last full year before the coronavirus pandemic upended global economies. In terms of global oil consumption, the U.S., India, and China lead the pack, with the U.S. alone consuming 19.8 million barrels of oil per day in 2021 to account for 21% of the world's total. Yet, combined, India and China consumed 19.55 million barrels of oil, almost equaling the Americans, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The same agency believes that current oil reserves are sufficient to last until 2025 - in just 38 years from now. Another estimate, made by BP in 2013, shares that as of 2013 end, the proven oil reserves in the world would last for only 53 years, implying that all the oil in the world could run out by 2070. We can arrive at our own estimate by dividing the latest figure of 1,757 billion barrels of oil reserves with the global consumption estimate of 97 million barrels to project that as of now, current oil reserves are slated to last for another fifty years. Dynamics of the global oil production market are also shifting, with the Russian invasion leading to reduced sanctions on Venezuela and growing oil supplies from Iran.
We used data from the Energy Information Administration and other sources to sift out the largest countries with crude oil reserves as of 2021. For added flavor, the latest production statistics for the countries courtesy of the International Energy Agency have also been provided.
20 Countries that Have the Largest Oil Reserves in the World Heading into 2023
20. Republic of Azerbaijan
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 7 billion barrels
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a European and Asian country with a $160 billion economy. While it is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) it nevertheless closely coordinates with the cartel to manage its daily oil production. Azerbaijan's oil reserves stood at 7 billion barrels in 2021 - a figure that was last updated in 2003 and is also corroborated by both the OPEC and BP's oil reserve estimates. Its daily production was 550,000 barrels and its liquids supply is estimated to sit at 800,000 barrels per day next year.
19. Republic of Angola
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 7.78 billion barrels
The Republic of Angola is an African country with a $213 billion GDP. Crude oil is its largest export, accounting for more than two thirds of Angola's foreign exchange earnings. Angola's oil revenues have also been a source of controversy, with vast sums of money going unaccounted for from the coffers of the Group Sonangol, which had controlled oil production in the country until 2019. Angola now manages its oil output through a new entity that is called the National Oil, Gas and Biofuel Agency (ANPG).
18. Kingdom of Norway
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 8.12 billion barrels
The Kingdom of Norway is a European country with the sixth largest GDP per capita in the world of $78,128. It is also one of the world's largest oil producers, with an estimated output of 2.26 million barrels per day. Crucially, Norway is playing an important role in substituting Russian oil for Europe's needs, and is now the top European gas supplier. Additionally, the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also spurred Norwegian oil production, as output is expected to sit at 4.3 million barrels next year.
17. Republic of Ecuador
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 8.27 billion barrels
The Republic of Ecuador is a South American country with a $229 billion GDP. Crude oil exports are a large portion of the country's overall exports, and end up representing more than one thirds of the overall pie. Its oil reserves sit at 8.27 billion barrels and were last updated in 2016. Additionally, Ecuador's current oil production sits at roughly 490,000 barrels per day, and the country is seeking to grow this to 600,000 barrels per day by 2025. Its oil production is managed by EP Petroecuador, and the country is a former OPEC member.
16. People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 12.2 billion barrels
The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is an African country with a large $600 billion economy fueled primarily by oil exports. It is also an OPEC member, and energy exports including oil, gas, and refined products represent more than 90% of its total exports. The Algerian state owned oil company is Sonatrach, with the country's law requiring that any foreign company seeking to work in Algeria's oil industry will have to work in partnership with Sonatrach. Algeria supplied 1.02 million barrels of oil per day in November 2022.
15. Federative Republic of Brazil
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 12.71 billion barrels
The Federative Republic of Brazil, simply known as Brazil, is the fifth largest country in the world and the large economy in Latin America. Most of Brazil's oil production is for heavy oil, unlike the light oil that is found in the Middle East. Its largest oil company is Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras (NYSE:PBR), which is a state owned company that is often at the center of Brazilian politics. The bulk of the country's oil production is offshore, with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) accounting for more than 70% of the production.
14. State of Qatar
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 25.24 billion barrels
State of Qatar is a prosperous Middle Eastern country that was formerly an OPEC member state. It is one of the major gas producing regions of the world and capitalized on the Russian invasion of Ukraine to strike a deal for German gas supplies earlier this year. The European demand also boosted Qatar's oil and gas revenues by 67% annually for this year's first half and also allowed it to post a cracking $6.7 billion surplus for the third quarter.
13. People's Republic of China (PRC)
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 26.02 billion barrels
The People's Republic of China (PRC) is the world's largest economy in nominal terms and also the second largest consumer of oil. China's leading oil companies, the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SHA:600028.SS) and the PetroChina Company Limited (SHA:601857.SS) are among the top three biggest oil companies in the world in terms of revenue, beaten only by the Saudi oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Company (TADAWUL:2222.SR). Additionally, China's strategic petroleum reserve is thought to be one of the largest in the world, with an estimated 400 million barrels of oil as of 2016.
12. Republic of Kazakhstan
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 30 billion barrels
The Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the largest landlocked countries in the world and is located in Central Asia. Its exports rely primarily on energy products, which often make up more than half of Kazakhstan's total exports. The country supplied 1.68 million barrels of oil in 2022, and its government owned oil company KazMunaiGaz (KMG) listed its shares on the stock market for the first time in December 2022.
11. Federal Republic of Nigeria
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 36.89 billion barrels
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is an African country that is one of the largest economies on the continent. Petroleum and related products make up more than 80% of Nigeria's exports, and the country is also an OPEC member. Nigerian oil is often of high quality too, as it is light in weight and low in sulfur. Multinationals such as Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) are heavily involved in Nigerian oil production. The country is an OPEC member and it produced 1.13 million barrels of oil in November 2022.
10. United States of America
Oil Reserves as of 2020: 47.10 billion barrels
The United States of America, or simply the U.S., is the world's largest economy in nominal terms and also the world's largest oil consumer. American oil consumption was 19.89 million barrels per day in 2021, and it also has one of the world's largest petroleum reserves which stood at 378.6 million barrels as of December 2022. The U.S. is home to some of the world's biggest oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) - which is the world's largest oil company after Chinese and Saudi state owned firms.
9. State of Libya
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 48.36 billion barrels
The State of Libya is a North African country that is also an OPEC member state. It made an important announcement in December 2022, when the government lifted force majeure on oil production activities and asked global companies to kick off production activities. Libyan oil production has been soaring in 2022, with the country supplying 1.15 million barrels in November.
8. United Arab Emirates
Oil Reserves as of 2021: 97.8 billion barrels
The United Arab Emirates is a Middle Eastern country with a $779 billion economy and a high GDP per capita. Oil and related products form close to a quarter of its exports, and it signed a deal with the Malaysian state owned oil company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) in December 2022 to explore more oil onshore. UAE is also an OPEC member and it produced 3.29 million barrels of oil in November.
7. State of Kuwait
Oil Reserves as of 2020: 101.5 billion barrels
The State of Kuwait is a West Asian country that is also an OPEC member. Petroleum products account for more than half of its exports, and its national oil producer is Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. Kuwait produced 2.68 million barrels of oil in November 2022, making it the fourth largest in OPEC. Most of it oil is bought by Asian countries.
6. Russian Federation
Oil Reserves as of 2020: 108 billion barrels
The Russian Federation is a transcontinental country that is rich in natural resources. While Russia leads in natural gas production, it also has considerable oil reserves which stood at 108 billion barrels in 2020 according to BP. It has found it difficult to sell oil to Western countries this year due to sanctions and has instead turned to India and China for its sales - at highly discounted rates. Russian oil has been capped at $60 per barrel by Western countries, to limit its ability to fund the Ukraine war.
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Disclosure: None. 20 Countries that Have The Largest Oil Reserves in the World Heading into 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey.