Top 10 countries with the world's largest oil reserves
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Top 10 countries with the world’s largest oil reserves

Top 10 countries with the world’s largest oil reserves

The oil market has been hit hard in 2020, with prices plummeting to record lows

Gulf Business

The oil industry has been on a wild ride this year – and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Oil prices were already under pressure due to dropping demand amidst a glut in supply, leading the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other top producers such as Russia to jointly cut production last year.

Early this year, when the Covid-19 situation began to escalate, OPEC – led by Saudi Arabia – proposed further cuts in response to sluggish demand. However, after Russia declined to cut production, the kingdom also boosted supply, which led to a steep decline in oil prices.

In April 2020, WTI crude oil reached negative territory for the first time ever, plummeting to a low of -$40.32 per barrel, with Brent crude also dropping below $20 per barrel.

Read: Oil drops 31% in worst loss since Gulf War as price fight erupts

The resolution of the price war and the subsequent reduction in production led to a recovery in oil prices during the summer, although weak financial markets, growing inventory, and reduced buying from China triggered a drop in September, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA has also warned that the winter will bring “unforeseeable challenges” due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the global market.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects Brent crude prices to average $41.19 per barrel in 2020 – down from $64.34 per barrel in 2019. However, it also expects the market to improve next year, with prices expected to increase to an average of $47 per barrel in 2021.

According to the latest monthly report from OPEC, world oil demand will reach 96.84 million bpd in 2021, compared to its estimate of 90.29 million bpd for this year. However, anticipated demand figures next year are lower than 99.76 million bpd in 2019.

With the pandemic situation yet to ease, the world’s biggest oil producers may continue to face tough times.


(Source: BP, as of 2019)

1. Venezuela
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 303.81

2. Saudi Arabia
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 297.58

3. Canada
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 169.69

4. Iran
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 155.60

5. Iraq
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 145.02

6. Russia
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 107.21

7. Kuwait
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 101.50

8. United Arab Emirates
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 97.80

9. Libya
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 48.36

10. Nigeria
Proven oil reserves (billion barrels): 36.97

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