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Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson is a retired computer engineer. He worked in Saudi Arabia for five years, two years at the Ghazlan Power Plant near Ras Tanura…

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Does The U.S. Really Have More Oil Reserves Than Saudi Arabia?

Oil Rigs

Rystad Energy has published an interesting article claiming that the U.S. has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia… if you include shale oil.

A new independent estimate of world oil reserves has been released by Rystad Energy, showing that the U.S. now holds more recoverable oil reserves than both Saudi Arabia and Russia. For U.S., more than 50 percent of remaining oil reserves are unconventional shale oil. Texas alone holds more than 60 billion barrels of shale oil according to this new data.

I will not quote the entire article for copyright reasons, but would invite you to go there and check it out. Their final total, their 2PCX reserves, includes undiscovered fields.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

The devil is in the details, or rather the legend at the bottom of the above chart. First, I do not understand their 2PC reserves “existing fields and discoveries”. If it has been discovered then I would think it is an existing field. Their difference between 2P and 2PC is almost half a trillion barrels. That is 497 billion barrels! Does that mean discovered but not yet drilled? Naaw… I just don’t think so.

But fields not yet discovered number a whopping 940 billion barrels! Almost a trillion barrels of oil out there just waiting to be discovered. And that does not even include the 497 billion barrels they just label as “discoveries”.

Give me a break! Related: Iran, Iraq Bow Out Of Next OPEC Meeting

Bloomberg has a slightly different opinion:

Oil Discoveries at 70-Year Low Signal Supply Shortfall Ahead

(Click to enlarge)

Explorers in 2015 discovered only about a tenth as much oil as they have annually on average since 1960. This year, they’ll probably find even less, spurring new fears about their ability to meet future demand.

However, let me give credit where credit is due. At least, in my opinion, Rystad does get their 2P reserves right, or very close anyway. They have OPEC 2P reserves at 372 billion barrels and Non-OPEC 2P reserves at 283 billion barrels for a total of 655 billion barrels. That is very close to the number I have been quoting for years.

The EIA has stopped giving production numbers for all producing countries. Instead they have changed to a report that just gives production numbers for the major producers.

EIA World Oil Production data is only through June 2016 and is in thousand barrels per day.

(Click to enlarge)

Production was up in June but still way down for the year.

(Click to enlarge)

OPEC saw a huge jump in June. Every OPEC country is producing flat out, trying to reach maximum production before a “freeze” is proposed for OPEC. Related: Oil Surges To One-Year High As Putin Backs OPEC Deal

I will have a post based on the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report on Friday. That report will have the OPEC crude only production numbers through September.


(Click to enlarge)

The decline in Non-OPEC production far more than offsets any increase in OPEC production.

(Click to enlarge)

I look for U.S., and Canadian oil production to level out at about the level they were at in September but for the rest of Non-OPEC to continue to decline.

(Click to enlarge)

I am unsure about Russia. I will have more to say about Russia when I get the EIA report on Russian production in a couple of months. The difference between what the Russian Oil Minister reports and what the EIA reports Russian oil production to be is quite large and I am unsure why.

By Ron Patterson via Peakoilbarrel.com

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Leave a comment
  • avenger426 on October 11 2016 said:
    Another oil guy whining and hoping for another economy killing oil price increase. The is no reason for oil to be as high as it is other than oil barron greed.
  • KilonBerlin on October 12 2016 said:
    US and Saudi-Arabia... The US is 4.5 times as large, one of the largest countries in the world (Nr. 4 just a little bit behind Canada I think, Nr. 2 is China and Nr. 1 Russia),

    US also had commercial drilling since 1865...until the 1950's the US has been the Saudi Arabia of the world. Hubbert said in early 50's that the US would peak in 1970 - and he was correct even with the year. The old peak was beaten in Q1 and Q2 2014, but than oil price collapsed and production, otherwise we might have seen a new Peak in 2014 (9.5 million barrels per day, old peak is around 10 million, we had in first half year)

    Texas Oil Field was the main field for Victory in World War 2 in Europe, it accounted to 90% of Allied Supply... "Big Inch" pipeline was build to prevent German submarine attacks on tankers starting in the Gulf of Mexico on its way to New York Area...

    It is more like Canada has the largest or 2nd largest reserves (Venezuela has extreme ones too with its 1/3 Oilsand), Canada has the other 1/3 of oil sands, I think over 200 billion, and taking the Oil sand with lower than 2% Bitumen it could be even much more, just very expensive, actual average is 2 tons oil sand = 1 barrel = 158.98 Liter. Price needed: $75 short term, a bit higher on long term.

    But US could be self-sufficient, but higher than Saudi Arabia? Only a hand full of people can answer this on the planet since Saudi Arabian oil reserves are all estimates by pictures made from space or satellites. Alone Ghawar was thought to have 65 billion barrels of oil, around the year 2000 I think it crossed this line and still is producing even now millions of barrels daily...

    This is only one field with its 4.5 - 5 million barrels daily.

    Other fields are "low" with 300.000 to 500.000 barrels, IMHO Saudi Arabia could produce much more, Russia recently developed Middle and Eastern Siberia... CIA World Factbook 2-3 years ago said Russian oil reserves: 30 billion barrels, now the latest estimate is over 100 billion barrels, but its more like over 200 billion, with the old Soviet Union territory they would have over 400 billion (Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan Gas and a bit oil/gas condensate)

    China is becoming an too expensive place to build a new factory and hire employees since even that one from rural areas see the increased standard of living and what "others" earn, and even if they only want 50% of their payment, in Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh etc. you can have this much cheaper and in that cases even closer to Europe (which would be main target)

    We will never see the end of oil, only the end of needing oil... but if oil comapnies would tell us even with over 100 million barrels daily consumption (over 16 billion liters every single day), and 110 million for example for 2025 we have over 3 trillion barrels of oil (including unconventional reserves of all kind this is even possible)... this would be "Not so good" for oil producers and companies.....
  • T.J. Thomas on October 12 2016 said:
    I think "existing field" in this context is one that has already been or started to be developed, whereas a "discovery" is untapped.

Leave a comment

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