Today's Trends: Middle East Remains Home to Most Proven Reserves
The Middle East continues to hold the majority of the world's proved oil reserves, although this percentage has declined in the past two decades, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy that was published last month.
At the end of 1989, the Middle East held 661.0 billion barrels of oil, or 65.7% of the world's proved oil reserves, and at the end of 1999, the region had 685.8 billion barrels of the world's proved oil reserves, or 63.2%. By the end of last year, the Middle East had 753.7 billion barrels of oil, or about 56.6% of the world's proven oil reserves.
Global proved oil reserves in 1989 totaled 1006.4 billion barrels; a decade later, the world's proved oil reserves totaled 1085.6 billion barrels. At the end of last year, total proven oil reserves worldwide stood at 1333.1 billion barrels.
The Central and South American regions experienced significant growth during that time as the Orinoco heavy oil play in Venezuela and Brazil's deepwater play have expanded the region's production. Proved oil reserves found in the Central and South American regions have grown from 6.9% of the world's proved oil reserves in 1989, or 69.5 billion barrels, to 97.8 billion barrels in 1999, or 9.9% of the world's proved oil reserves, to 198.9 billion barrels, or 14.9% of proven reserves in 2009.
All global regions except North America experienced growth in proved oil reserves from 1989 to 2009. Thanks to its tar sands production, Canada saw its proved oil reserves growth from 52.0 billion barrels in 1989 to 18.3 billion in 1999 and 33.2 billion in 2009. However, the U.S. experienced a decline from 34.3 billion barrels in 1989 to 29.7 billion barrels in 1999 to 28.4 billion barrels in 2009.
Mexico's proved oil reserves experienced the largest decline out of North America, falling from 52.0 billion barrels in 1989 to 21.5 billion barrels in 1999 to 11.9 billion barrels last year. Declining output from Mexico's offshore Cantarell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico lies behind the significant decline in the country's oil reserves.
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