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OPEC Says World’s Proven Oil Reserves Rose To 1.56 Trillion Barrels

Global proven crude oil reserves increased by 17 billion barrels last year, or by 1.1% compared to 2021, to hit 1.564 trillion barrels in 2022, OPEC said in its Annual Statistical Bulletin this week. 

OPEC defines proven oil reserves as those quantities of crude oil which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable, from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under defined economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations.   

OPEC member states hold most of the global proven crude oil reserves. OPEC’s reserves stood at 1.243 trillion barrels at the end of 2022, up by 0.1% compared to the 2021 reserves. In 2021, OPEC’s crude oil reserves had declined marginally from 2020.  

OPEC’s share of the global proven crude oil reserves was 79.5% last year, down from 80.3% in 2021, the statistical bulletin showed. 

The number of wells completed in OPEC member states rose by 203 year-over-year to 1,791 in 2022, while the total number of completed wells globally jumped by 8,105 to 60,029 last year.  

OPEC’s crude oil exports jumped by 8.8% to average 21.39 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022, with export volumes remaining slightly below pre-pandemic levels, the cartel said in its annual statistics report. 

With higher exports and rallying oil prices, the value of OPEC’s petroleum exports jumped by 54% year on year to $873.6 billion. 

This year, revenues are set to be lower, amid below-$80 a barrel oil prices and reduced exports from OPEC as part of the OPEC+ efforts to “stabilize the market.” 


Major OPEC+ producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, have said they would reduce output from May, while the Saudis announced a unilateral cut of 1 million bpd for July and August. Russia has said it would reduce exports by 500,000 bpd next month. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on July 12 2023 said:
    This only adds to OPEC’s political and economic clout accounting for 79.5% of global proven reserves and the cheapest to produce in the world.

    Moreover, the last three oil barrels produced in the world will come from three regions: the Gulf region, Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt and Russia’s Arctic with the very last barrel coming from Iraq.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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