Here we take a look at the countries around the world with the largest proven oil reserves, with countries such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia topping the list.
Russia and a plethora of Eastern European countries are failing to meet their targets for expanding domestic gas production, according to GlobalData
Since the emergence of the oil industry in the mid-nineteenth century, the energy source has offered a bountiful supply of power, triggered wars, and reshaped geopolitics with various countries competing to control the largest-known reserves.
It has been used as fuel for transport, to generate electricity to light homes, run factories and machines, as a raw material for fertilizer, and as an ingredient to produce plastics used all over the world.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, the world’s total proved oil reserves were measured at more than 1.73 trillion barrels, as of the end of 2019.
More than 95 million barrels per day were produced globally in 2019, with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia among the world’s top oil-producing countries.
Here, NS Energy profiles the top ten countries that are home to the biggest-known reserves.
Top ten countries with the largest oil reserves in 2021
1. Venezuela – 304 billion barrels
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves of any country in the world, with more than 300 billion barrels of proven reserves.
That is a 17.5% share of the entire global resource, and in 2011 the country surpassed Saudi Arabia to top worldwide list.
However, the development of these huge reserves has taken a backseat due to political unrest and economic sanctions over the past few years.
The country also has large deposits of oil sands, like those present in Canada.
Due to their vicious nature, Venezuela’s Orinoco tar sands can be produced using conventional methods.
2. Saudi Arabia – 298 billion barrels
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was home to the world’s biggest proven oil reserves for several decades, but the discovery of new resources in Venezuela this century has edged it back into second place.
As of the end of 2019, Saudi Arabia holds just under 298 billion barrels of oil – a 17.2% share of the global total – with a significant amount concentrated in a handful of large oilfields, including the huge Ghawar field in the east of the country, which is the largest in the world.
Much of Saudi Arabia’s oil is controlled by the kingdom’s monarchy, through its majority-ownership of Saudi Aramco which in December 2019 became the world’s most valuable company after it listed on the Tadawul stock exchange.
The country’s reserves are expected to exceed that of Venezuela in the future if it increases its exploration