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

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Written by: Ron Patterson at Oilprice.com

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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.










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!

Bloomberg has a slightly different opinion:


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.


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







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.

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.


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






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.





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.

Written by: Ron Patterson at Oilprice.com

Click HERE to Read Article From Publisher