10 Countries With The Largest Oil Reserves in the World

The planet’s oil producers are not always stable nations, nor countries that guarantee legal security or examples of geopolitical conciliation. Quite the contrary, some of them have shaken the foundations of international financial architecture and generated economic crises of the first magnitude. 

The largest of them, that of the seventies, oil, from which emerged OPEC, the body that dictates the volume of crude oil that flows – and the quotas, in barrels per day, of each of its members – to the markets.

10 Countries With The Largest Oil Reserves in the World

Likewise, its power of extraction, marketing and sale to clients in the market is not exactly comparable to the weight of its exports. Venezuela has the largest proven crude oil reserves ahead of Saudi Arabia, the nation that is the owner and mistress of OPEC’s designs and a major supplier of black gold

However, the political and economic instability of Caracas and its technological, productive and business deficit to pump crude oil from the enormous energy ponds on which its territory rests, reduces its influence as a regulator of the oil spigot that is placed on the market.

On the other hand, and according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the US, which for several years has been the largest net exporter of crude oil – by making specific uses of its strategic reserves – estimates that the largest global economic power – and for decades, until the emergence of China as a superpower, the largest buyer of crude oil – would be in a position to supply more than 36,000 million barrels to the market if the White House decided to open wide its available reserves.

The 10 Largest Oil Reserves in the World

In this context, these are the countries, in increasing order, with the greatest oil reserves:

10. Libya

The Maghreb country has estimated around 48.3 billion barrels of crude oil in reserves. It is still considered a small producer, with an average of 1.2 million barrels per day, which can be altered by political instabilities and power struggles between factions with interests in this energy source and that generate civil conflict.

9. USA

American crude oil rafts differ. They are, in fact, a state secret. National security issue. The World Population Review raises its reserves to 68.8 billion. It can open the spigot until it becomes the main net exporter, as it has done twice in the last decade and a half. 

8. Kuwait

With just over 101.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, according to OPEC, it produces between 2.4 and 2.67 million barrels per day and exports 1.7 million. By 2030, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation plans to boost its quota above 4 million barrels a day and says it is not worried about the anticipated drop in global oil demand.

7. United Arab Emirate (UAE)

The third largest producer in OPEC manages more than 111,000 million barrels, although it extracts an average of 2.7 million barrels per day and exports almost 2.3 million. The UAE is an example of the use of the oil business to diversify its productive structures, with initiatives, already palpable, to increase luxury tourism and the creation of a high-tech hub in its seven confederated emirates.  

6. Russia

With just over 80,000 million barrels of proven reserves, according to the IEA, and with a daily production capacity of 9.4 million barrels at present, despite the embargo on Siberian crude oil due to the invasion of Ukraine. Before the outbreak of the conflict, it was common for it to exceed 11 million. Even so, its exports of crude oil and refined fuels have returned to pre-armed conflict levels. 

5. Iraq

Second producer in OPEC, it has 145,000 million barrels for a daily extraction power of 4.5 million. Its sales abroad average 3.4 million a day, with the ambition, like Kuwait, to surpass the flow of Saudi crude oil. Analysts, however, put the limit at 6.3 million barrels in the next five years.

4. Iran

With more than 208.6 billion barrels, it produces around 2.39 million a day, of which it exports 760,000, according to OPEC, due, on the one hand, to a substantial gap in management and extraction and marketing capacity, due to interests spurious, between its reserves, its production and its exports and, of course, due to the sanctions imposed by the US for Tehran’s nuclear program. At the end of 2022, due to several of these hidden factors, it put 1.13 million barrels per day on the market, a trajectory it maintains in 2023.

3. Canada

It houses 171,000 million barrels in its subsoil. Mostly – about 166.3 billion – bituminous sands (oil sands), concentrated in the Alberta region, which would account for a tenth of the total world reserves. It contributed more than 5 million barrels per day throughout 2022, a historical record. With production increasing despite Ottawa’s commitment to renewable sources. A recent Ipsos survey places Canada as the preferred supplier on a global scale.

2. Saudi Arabia

It exceeds 267,000 million barrels, in 2021 it surpassed the production barrier of 9 million per day and 11.5 in 2022, although the latest cuts that have been decreed in OPEC +, which it manages as it pleases, along with Russia, in the expanded version of the cartel, have reduced their quota by half a million. Riyadh plans to increase its daily capacity to 13 million in 2027. A level – they say – close to its maximum potential. 

1. Venezuela

Estimates speak of reserves above 300,000 million barrels. US sanctions, still in force, a chronic economic crisis and high levels of corruption have decimated the extraction capacity of black gold, which catapulted from the turn of the millennium with the new discoveries of deposits. In 2022 it was barely able to extract between 600,000 and 700,000 barrels per day, putting almost all of it on the market.


The countries with the largest oil reserves are quite different from the largest oil producers in the world so they should not be mixed, likewise, we also have the countries with the largest refineries in the world which you can take a look at.

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