Petroleum and Mineral Oil – World distribution

  • Petroleum is not distributed evenly around the world.

  • More than half of the world’s proven oil reserves are located in the Middle East (including Iran but not North Africa).

  • Following the Middle East are Canada and the United States, Latin America, Africa, and the region occupied by the former Soviet Union.

  • Each of those regions contains less than 15 % of the world’s proven reserves.

  • The amount of oil a given region produces is not always proportionate to the size of its proven reserves.

  • For example, the Middle East contains more than 50 % of the world’s proven reserves but accounts for only about 30 % of global oil production.

  • The United States, by contrast, lays claim to less than 2 % of the world’s proven reserves but produces about 10 % of the world’s oil.

Reserves oilfields in WorldClassifications

  • All reserve estimates involve uncertainty, depending on the amount of reliable geologic and engineering data available and the interpretation of that data.

  • The relative degree of uncertainty can be expressed by dividing reserves into two principal classifications: “proven” and “unproven“.

  • Unproven reserves can further be divided into two subcategories: “probable” and “possible” to indicate the relative degree of uncertainty about their existence.

  • The most commonly accepted definitions of these are based on those approved by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC) in 1997.

Proven reserves

  • Proven reserves are those reserves claimed to have a reasonable certainty (normally at least 90% confidence) of being recoverable under existing economic and political conditions, with existing technology.

  • Industry specialists refer to this as P90 (that is, having a 90% certainty of being produced). Proven reserves are also known in the industry as 1P.

  • Proven reserves are further subdivided into “proven developed” (PD) and “proven undeveloped” (PUD).

Unproven reserves

  • Unproven reserves are based on geological or engineering data similar to that used in estimates of proven reserves, but technical, contractual, or regulatory uncertainties preclude such reserves being classified as proven.

  • Unproven reserves may be used internally by oil companies and government agencies for future planning purposes but are not routinely compiled.

  • They are sub-classified as probable and possible.

  • Probable reserves are attributed to known accumulations and claim a 50% confidence level of recovery.

  • Industry specialists refer to them as “P50” (i.e., having a 50% certainty of being produced). These reserves are also referred to in the industry as “2P”.Petroleum reserves

Oil fields in Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia has the largest proven oil reserves.

  • Approximately 20 % of the world’s proven reserves.

  • The discovery that transformed Saudi Arabia into a leading oil country was Al – Ghawār oil field.

Oil Fields in Iraq, Kuwait, & Iran

  • The Middle Eastern countries of Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran are each estimated to have 25 % of all proven reserves in the world.

  • These countries have a number of supergiant fields.

  • Al – Burqan oilfield of Kuwait is the world’s second largest oil field.

Oil Fields in Russia

  • It has significant proven reserves of 5 % of the world total and is the world’s leading petroleum producer.

  • Kamchatka peninsula and Sakhalin Island are said to have significant oil reserves.

Oil Fields in United States, Mexico, & Canada

  • North America has many sedimentary basins.

  • Many oilfields have been found in North Slope region of Alaska and East Texas.

  • Its proven oil reserves amount to 2 % of the world total.

  • Mexico has more than 10 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and is one of the top 10 oil producers in the world.

  • Canada has less than 10 billion barrels of proven reserves of conventional liquid oil.

  • But huge deposits of oil sands in the Athabasca region in western Canada bring the country’s total proven oil reserves to approximately 175 billion barrels, behind only oil giants Saudi Arabia and

  • Canada’s largest oil field is off

Oilfields in Venezuela & Brazil

  • Venezuela is the largest oil exporter in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Most of these reserves are located in the Orinoco belt.

  • Brazil has 14 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (second largest in South America)

Oilfields in United Kingdom

  • The United Kingdom is an important North Sea producer, and its proven oil reserves of some three billion barrels are the largest in the European Union.

Oilfields in African Region

  • The main oil-producing countries of Africa are: Libya, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt.

  • Niger delta in Nigeria contains enormous amount of oil.

  • Egypt is self-sufficient in oil production.

  • Algeria is another significant producer of petroleum where much of the national income comes from oil – export.

  • Libya became a consistent producer of petroleum. The total oil reserve of Libya is around 3 % of global reserve.

OPEC – Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
  • Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and later joined by Qatar, Indonesia, UAE, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Gabon and Angola.

  • This group bargains with international Oil Companies so that profit margin will be high.

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