US oil reserves exceed Saudi Arabia & Russia

US oil reserves exceed Saudi Arabia & Russia

The United States holds more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia and Russia – the first time it has surpassed the world’s largest exporting nations, according to a new independent study.

Rystad Energy estimates that recoverable oil in the US from existing fields, discoveries and undiscovered areas totals to 264 billion barrels. The figure exceeds Saudi Arabia’s 212bn and Russia’s 256bn in reserves.

The Oslo-based group conducted an analysis of 60,000 fields worldwide over a three-year period showing the total global oil reserves at 2.1 trillion barrels. The group said this is 70 times the current production rate of around 30bn barrels of crude oil a year.

Recoverable reserves – those barrels that are technologically and economically feasible to extract – are analysed by the energy industry to find company evaluations and the long-term health of an oil-producing country’s economy.

Conventional oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia have traditionally used their resources to maintain global power, particularly among other big oil consumer countries such as the US.

This has recently been disrupted over the years due to hydraulic fracturing and other new technologies which have helped the US become more energy dependent.

“There is little potential for future surprises in many other countries, but in the US there is,” said Per Magnus Nysveen, analyst at Rystad Energy. “Three years ago the US was behind Russia, Canada and Saudi Arabia.”

According to Rystad data, more than half of the US’s remaining oil reserves are in unconventional shale oil and Texas alone holds more than 60bn barrels.