Data includes estimates of yet to be discovered resources

The U.S. has taken a new place atop the list of countries with the largest recoverable oil resource potential in the world. This places the U.S. ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

For the U.S., more than 50% of the remaining oil reserves are located in unconventional shale plays. Texas alone holds more than 60 billion barrels of shale oil.

U.S. Holds More Total Oil Resources than Any Other Country According to New Estimates

Source: Chart by EnerCom Analytics, data from Rystad Energy

1P = Proved reserves, conservative estimates in existing fields

2P = Proved + Probable, most likely estimate in existing fields

2PC = Most likely estimate for existing fields and discoveries

2PCX = Most likely estimate for existing fields, discoveries and yet undiscovered fields

U.S. Holds More Total Oil Resources than Any Other Country According to New Estimates

*Does not include natural gas liquids, biofuel, and refinery gains

The data from Rystad Energy “distinguishes between reserves in existing fields, in new projects and potential reserves in recent discoveries and even in yet undiscovered fields. An established standard approach for estimating reserves is applied to all fields in all countries, so reserves can be compared apple to apple across the world, both for OPEC and non-OPEC countries.”

The new data paces global oil reserves at 2,092 billion barrels. At the current global production level of roughly 30 billion barrels per year, that is enough to last almost 70 years into the future, assuming 2015 production levels were to hold.

Saudi Arabia still holds the crown in terms of 1P, 2P, and 2PC reserves with 70, 120, 168 billion barrels respectively. Russia has the second most 1P reserves with 51 billion barrels, and the U.S. holds 29 billion barrels.

However the U.S. is believed to hold more discoveries and yet-to-be-discovered fields and reserves. U.S. climbs to the top with the help of 155 billion barrels of resource potential beyond 2PC reserves (noted as 2PCX). Russia also clocks in with an estimated 150 billion barrels in this category. The implication is that the U.S. has the largest resource potential that is yet to be discovered.

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