Oil Reserves by Country 2022

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Crude oil is the world’s main source of fuel and largest overall source of primary energy. In 2020, the world used approximately 88.6 million barrels per day of oil, which amounted to 30.1% of the world's primary energy. Crude oil creates gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, asphalt, tar, and lubrication oils. "Oil reserves" is an estimate of the amount of not-yet-mined crude oil located in a particular country that can be recovered with current technology and at a cost that is financially feasible in relation to the current price of oil.

The United States is the world's foremost producer of oil, as well as the world's largest consumer of oil, which makes it necessary for the U.S. to import additional oil from dozens of other oil-producing countries. Despite its world-leading oil production, the United States is only 9th in the world in terms of available oil reserves:

Top 10 Countries with the Largest Oil Reserves (in thousand million barrels):

Rank Country Reserves % of World Total
1 Venezuela 303.8 17.5%
2 Saudi Arabia 297.5 17.2%
3 Canada 168.1 9.7%
4 Iran 157.8 9.1%
5 Iraq 145.0 8.4%
6 Russia 107.8 6.2%
7 Kuwait 101.5 5.9%
8 United Arab Emirates 97.8 5.6%
9 United States 68.8 4.0%
10 Libya 48.4 2.8%

How the accessibility of oil reserves impacts profitability

Venezuela has the largest amount of oil reserves in the world with more than 300 billion barrels in reserve. Saudi Arabia has the second-largest amount of oil reserves in the world with 297.5 billion barrels. Despite Venezuela’s massive supply of natural resources, the country still struggles economically. Venezuela and Saudi Arabia have populations of comparable size; however, Saudi Arabia’s economy is twice as large. One of the main reasons for this disparity is the accessibility of each country's oil reserves.

Although Venezuela has the most oil reserves in the world, most of its oil is offshore or far underground and is considered to be dense. As such, the cost of extracting the oil in Venezuela’s reserves using the technology currently available is too high to be profitable. Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, on the other hand, are close to the surface and on land, which makes the oil much more accessible and the extraction process vastly more cost-effective. This, in turn, makes Saudi Arabia's oil sector significantly more profitable.

Here are the 10 countries with the most oil reserves:

  1. Venezuela (303.8)
  2. Saudi Arabia (297.5)
  3. Canada (168.1)
  4. Iran (157.8)
  5. Iraq (145)
  6. Russia (107.8)
  7. Kuwait (101.5)
  8. United Arab Emirates (97.8)
  9. United States (68.8)
  10. Libya (48.4)

Oil Reserves by Country 2022

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Oil Reserves by Country 2022

Note: Reserve unit of measurement is thousand million barrels. Also, percentages may not total to 100%, as countries with negligible reserves are not included.
Country Reserves (end 2020) 2022 Population
Venezuela303.829,266,991
Saudi Arabia297.535,844,909
Canada168.138,388,419
Iran157.886,022,837
Iraq14542,164,965
Russia107.8145,805,947
Kuwait101.54,380,326
United Arab Emirates97.810,081,785
United States68.8334,805,269
Libya48.47,040,745
Nigeria36.9216,746,934
Kazakhstan3019,205,043
China261,448,471,400
Qatar25.22,979,915
Algeria12.245,350,148
Brazil11.9215,353,593
Norway7.95,511,370
Angola7.835,027,343
Azerbaijan710,300,205
Mexico6.1131,562,772
Oman5.45,323,993
India4.51,406,631,776
Vietnam4.498,953,541
South Sudan3.511,618,511
Egypt3.1106,156,692
Yemen331,154,867
Republic of the Congo2.95,797,805
Malaysia2.733,181,072
United Kingdom2.568,497,907
Argentina2.546,010,234
Syria2.519,364,809
Indonesia2.4279,134,505
Australia2.426,068,792
Colombia251,512,762
Gabon22,331,533
Sudan1.545,992,020
Chad1.517,413,580
Ecuador1.318,113,361
Equatorial Guinea1.11,496,662
Brunei1.1445,431
Peru0.733,684,208
Uzbekistan0.634,382,084
Romania0.619,031,335
Turkmenistan0.66,201,943
Tunisia0.412,046,656
Denmark0.45,834,950
Thailand0.370,078,203
Trinidad And Tobago0.21,406,585

Oil Reserves by Country 2022

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