How Global Oil Reserves and Production Relate to Investing

As a commodities investor, knowing which countries have large crude oil deposits is an important part of your investment strategy. As demand for crude oil increases, countries that have large deposits of this natural resource stand to benefit tremendously.

To determine which countries are exploiting their reserves adequately, you also need to look at actual production. Having large reserves is meaningless if a country isn’t tapping those reserves to produce oil.

The following table lists the countries with the largest proven crude oil reserves, as well as the top ten producers of crude oil. Note that the reserve figures may change as new oilfields are discovered and as new technologies allow for the extraction of additional oil from existing fields.

     Oil Reserves Production
Rank Country Proven Reserves (Billion Barrels) Country Daily Production (Million Barrels)
1 Saudi Arabia 264 Saudi Arabia 10.7
2 Iran 132 Russia 9.6
3 Iraq 115 United States 8.3
4 Kuwait 101 Iran 4.1
5 United Arab Emirates 98 Mexico 3.7
6 Venezuela 79 China 3.6
7 Russia 60 Norway 3.1
8 Libya 39 Canada 3.1
9 Nigeria 36 Venezuela 2.9
10 United States 21 United Arab Emirates 2.7

* Oil Reserves Source: Oil & Gas Journal.

If you’re an active oil trader with a futures account, it’s crucial that you follow the daily production numbers, available through the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Web site. The futures markets are particularly sensitive to these numbers, and any event that takes crude off the market can have a sudden impact on crude futures contracts. To keep up on updated figures and statistics on the oil industry, you can also check out the following:

  • International Energy Agency (IEA)

  • BP Statistical Review (BP)

  • Oil & Gas Journal