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World’s Recoverable Oil Now Seen 9% Slimmer

Rystad Energy now estimates total recoverable oil resources at 1,725 billion barrels, a significant reduction of last year’s estimate of 1,903 billion barrels. Out of this total, which shows an estimate of how much oil is technically recoverable in the future, about 1,300 billion barrels are sufficiently profitable to be produced before the year 2100 at a Brent real oil price of $50 per barrel.

“In this scenario, global production of oil and natural gas liquids will fall below 50 million barrels per day by 2050. Exploring, developing, processing and consuming this amount of commercially extractable oil will lead to gross greenhouse gas emissions of less than 450 gigatonnes of CO­­2 from now until 2100. This is compliant with IPCC’s carbon budget for global warming limited to 1.8˚C by 2100,” says Rystad Energy’s Head of Analysis, Per Magnus Nysveen.

In terms of absolute volumes removed from non-OPEC producers, remaining recoverable resources in the US are reduced to 214 billion barrels, losing 30 billion barrels from last year’s estimate. China suffers the second-largest loss with its remaining recoverable resources now limited to 50 billion barrels, a downwards revision of 26 billion barrels.

The remaining recoverable resources of OPEC countries are reduced by 53 billion barrels to 741 billion barrels. Iran and Saudi Arabia have the largest revisions, losing 11 billion barrels each, with Saudi recoverable oil volumes now calculated at 288 billion barrels and Iranian volumes at 101 billion barrels.