Given that oil will continue to be dominant in the energy mix for the short and medium term, which countries hold the most oil reserves?
Below is the data from HowMuch.net for the top 15 countries:
While having an endowment of billions of barrels of oil within your borders can be a strategic gift from mother nature, it’s worth mentioning that reserves are just one factor in assessing the potential value of this crucial resource.
Even if a country is blessed with some of the most oil reserves in the world, it may not be able to produce and sell that oil to maximize the potential benefit.
- Countries like Canada and Venezuela are hindered by geology – in these places, the majority of oil is extra heavy crude or bitumen (oil sands), and these types of oil are simply more difficult and costly to extract.
- In other places, obstacles are self-imposed. In some countries, like Brazil and the U.S., there are higher taxes on oil production, which raises the total cost per barrel.
Below are the production costs (bbl) for the above mentioned 15 countries and total costs (bbl) which, in addition to production costs also includes capital spending, gross taxes, and admin/transport costs.