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BP has just released its annual Statistical Review of World Energy in which it claims that Venezuela now holds the largest proven oil reserves in the world, overtaking the original leader Saudi Arabia.
The South American nation’s oil deposits were increased from last year’s figure to an estimated at 296.5 billion barrels, more than Saudi Arabia’s 265.4 billion barrels.
Global reserves have been increased by 1.9 percent from last year’s 1.62 trillion barrels to 1.65 trillion. Robert Wine, a spokesman from BP, explained that the reason for the revisions is that BP’s review is published in June, before most countries issue their annual reserve figures.
Last year’s average oil price was also at record levels which meant that lots of hard-to-reach oil deposits became commercially viable. North Sea Brent crude oil, a general benchmark for most of the world’s oil, averaged $107.38 a barrel in 2011.
Oil reserves in Venezuela now account for about 17.9 precent of the world’s oil; Saudi Arabia hold 16.1 percent; whilst Canada are third with 10.6 percent.
The Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez yesterday released plans that promise he will more than double the countries oil production capacity by 2019, if re-elected in October.
All of BP’s estimates were calculated from a combination of official sources, OPEC data, and other third party estimates.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com