Monday, October 29, 2007

World Oil Reserves

Hubbert peak graph showing the world's oil pro...Image via Wikipedia With the price of oil steadily rising, and warnings that the world is running our of oil, I thought I'd research to see what is the current situation. My opinion is based on the information available.

In summary this is what I found.

Oil reserves worldwide:

Saudi Arabia - 262 gigabarrels (22%)

Canada - 179.2 gigabarrels (15%)

Iran - 133 gigabarrels (11%)

Iraq - 112 gigabarrels (9.4%)

United Arab Emirate - 98 gigabarrels (8.2%)

Mexico - 100 gigabarrels (8.3%)

Kuwait - 97 gigabarrels (8%)

Venezuela - 77.2 gigabarrels (6.5%)

U.S.A - 21 gigabarrels (1.8%)

Of course there are huge oil reserves in Russia. Estimates of between 120 -150 gigabarrels.

There is also the element of deceit from Arab countries as this table below illustrates.
So, although we know oil is running out, we don't know for certain when or by how much.

Declared reserves with suspicious increases (in billion of barrels) Colin Campbell, SunWorld, 80-95
Year Abu Dhabi Dubai Iran Iraq Kuwait Saudi Arabia Venezuela
1980 28.00 1.40 58.00 31.00 65.40 163.35 17.87
1981 29.00 1.40 57.50 30.00 65.90 165.00 17.95
1982 30.60 1.27 57.00 29.70 64.48 164.60 20.30
1983 30.51 1.44 55.31 41.00 64.23 162.40 21.50
1984 30.40 1.44 51.00 43.00 63.90 166.00 24.85
1985 30.50 1.44 48.50 44.50 90.00 169.00 25.85
1986 31.00 1.40 47.88 44.11 89.77 168.80 25.59
1987 31.00 1.35 48.80 47.10 91.92 166.57 25.00
1988 92.21 4.00 92.85 100.00 91.92 166.98 56.30
1989 92.20 4.00 92.85 100.00 91.92 169.97 58.08
1990 92.20 4.00 93.00 100.00 95.00 258.00 59.00
1991 92.20 4.00 93.00 100.00 94.00 258.00 59.00
1992 92.20 4.00 93.00 100,00 94,00 258.00 62.70
2004 92.20 4.00 132.00 115.00 99.00 259.00 78.00
2007 ? ? 136.30 115.00 101.50 262.30 80.00

According to another source, IAGS, these are the estimates...
Where are the reserves?
Proved oil reserves are those quantities of oil that geological information indicates can be with reasonable certainty recovered in the future from known reservoirs. Of the trillion barrels currently estimated, 6% are in North America, 9% in Central and Latin America, 2% in Europe, 4% in Asia Pacific, 7% in Africa, 6% in the Former Soviet Union. Today, 66% of global oil reserves are in the hands of Middle Eastern regimes: Saudi Arabia (25%), Iraq (11%), Iran (8%), UAE (9%), Kuwait (9%), and Libya (2%).

Now, this is the bit that makes it frightening. The competition for the world's oil reserves between China, the fastest and potentially biggest economy in the world and the U.S.A.

According to IAGS,

With 1.3 billion people, the People's Republic of China is the world's most populous country and the second largest oil consumer
, behind the U.S. In recent years, China has been undergoing a process of industrialization and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With real gross domestic product growing at a rate of 8-10% a year, China's need for energy is projected to increase by 150 percent by 2020. to sustain its growth China requires increasing amounts of oil. Its oil consumption grows by 7.5% per year, seven times faster than the U.S.'
Growth in Chinese oil consumption has accelerated mainly because of a large-scale transition away from bicycles and mass transit toward private automobiles, more affordable since China's admission to the World Trade Organization. Consequently, by year 2010 China is expected to have 90 times more cars than in 1990. With automobile numbers growing at 19% a year, projections show that China could surpass the total number of cars in the U.S. by 2030.

But it's not just about the competition for oil.

China's relations with state sponsors of terrorism has provided these countries a great deal of money, allowing them to continue to harbor terrorist organizations and to maintain a policy of oppression and exploitation of their people. China is the number one oil and gas importer from Iran. The two countries are bound by energy deals reaching a total value of $120 billion and growing. While the U.S. and EU were forging a diplomatic strategy to halt Iran’s nuclear program, China signed in October 2004 its largest energy deal with Iran ever and promised to block any American attempt to refer Iran’s nuclear program to the UN Security Council. This may indicate not only that China is interested in a militarily strong, even nuclear Iran that dominates the Gulf but also that for China, energy security considerations trump international cooperation on critical global security issues. In addition to its special relations with Iran, China is also known to be a provider of WMD technologies to rouge states including North Korea, Syria, Libya and Sudan.

Let's not forget the political implications of the need for oil.

Outside of the Middle East, China’s pursuit of oil could undercut U.S. security interests on multiple fronts: In the South China Sea, China is involved in territorial disputes with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Brunei over access to energy in the Spratly and Paracel Islands. In the East China Sea, where rich oil and gas reserves are believed to exist, rivalry is developing between China and Japan over access to energy resources. China has already begun the exploring process for gas reserves on its side of the East China Sea. The Japanese government claims that some of the reserves are actually on its side of the demarcation line and has accused China of attempting to extract hydrocarbons from its water. It also allowed its own oil firms to drill in the disputed territories—a move considered a provocation by China. Another source of tension is access to Russian oil. For many months, China and Japan have been involved in a bidding war over a major pipeline deal to deliver Russian oil from Eastern Siberia. China’s plan calls for a pipeline running to the Manchurian city of Daqing, while Japan is insisting on a pipeline that would run to Nakhodka, the Russian coastal area opposite to Japan. This tense atmosphere is feeding popular and political animosity, which have already resulted in a wave of violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in April 2005, and are likely to deepen over time. In Africa Chinese oil companies turn a blind eye to the way petrodollars are used by the local governments. One place where such indifference impacts America’s effort to fight against corruption and human rights abuse is Sudan. The Chinese have invested more than $8 billion in joint exploration contracts in this country, including the building of a 900-mile pipeline to the Red Sea, deployed thousands of military personnel disguised as oil workers and provided arms to the Sudanese government to support it in the country's 20-year civil war.

Anyone interested in the history of oil should read The Prize by Daniel Yergin.
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Hammer said...

I really wish we could just get off the stuff and use the methane hydrates on the ocean floor or turn garbage into diesel like had already been done sucessful on a large scale.

Oil has become too costly of a game to play.

Jeannie said...

I remember reading a long time ago that some scientist had discovered that oil did not need eons to be made - in fact - very little time - given that there are more people, therefore more bodies dying too - especially where there are wars, perhaps the oil reserves are increasing

The Frank Family said...

From your oil reserve chart it is clear that the only thing to do is to attack Canada!!! I guarantee you won't have any canadian suicide bombers. They're quite masterful at hockey fights but definitely no suicide bombers, eh! Just a little brevity for a serious situation.

Lexcen said...

I didn't even go into the subject of how many products rely on oil for their manufacture. Consider for example all plastics as well as other items and the effects of reduced oil supplies becomes mind boggling. See