The 11 largest oil reserves by country in the world in 2020 indicate the countries which may not be typical superpowers, but undeniably hold a lot of power behind the scenes. Oil is one of the most important, and controversial resources in the world. As we all know, oil cannot be produced by a country, so it’s more about luck and finding oil reserves. Hence, the countries featured on this list didn’t really have to do much except drill in the ground and discover oil reserves, thereby changing their entire landscape. In fact, these 11 countries represent over 90% of the entire world’s oil reserves and hence, are integral to the global economy.
Most of these countries weren’t really wealthy before they started pumping the black gold out of the ground. Some were quite underdeveloped. However, the discovery of oil resulted in a complete change in the fortunes of the countries, and some -like United Arab Emirates and Qatar- were able to grow quite fast and become extremely developed. Most other countries have also benefited from their oil reserves, though maybe not to the extent of the other countries.
However, that does not mean that simply having some of the largest oil reserves in the world is enough for a secure future, as evidenced by Venezuela’s oil reserves, which are some of the largest and yet have failed to improve or even stabilize the economy of the country. Other countries with major oil reserves and relatively unstable / underdeveloped economies include Iran and Iraq. So it’s not just a matter of having oil reserves, but what you do with them as well.
The list of countries by oil production has some common entries as our list of oil reserves by country in 2019. Currently, the United States is the top oil producer, which actually accounts for 19% of the world’s oil production. You might be surprised to hear this, because I certainly was! Whenever you think of a country associated with oil, you’re probably thinking of Russia and Saudi Arabia. However, thanks to the shale revolution in 2009, in the last decade, the US has greatly increased its oil production and became the number 1 oil producer by 2015, and has not let go of its stronghold since. Perhaps the reason that it is not as popular for oil as other countries are is due to the fact that its economy consumes almost all of the oil produced within its borders and the United States isn’t one of the biggest exporters of the black gold.
Insider Monkey is a huge supporter of the oil industry because of what it did for the American workers. When other industries were trying to enrich themselves at the expense of the American worker by shifting jobs offshore, the American oil companies provided well paying jobs which counteracted the hollowing out of the American middle class. Americans don’t want government handouts or free healthcare. We want our jobs back so that we live a life with dignity. The oil industry helped us to achieve this goal even though the United States isn’t one of the top 10 countries with the largest oil reserves in the world.
To determine our list, we obtained the list of countries with the world’s largest reserves from World Population Review. However, we not only used the total oil reserves for each country, but the oil reserves per capita as well. We then took the average ranking of each country based on both criteria to determine our unique ranking of the largest oil reserves by country. If you want to see the changes in the ranking based on the last couple of years, you should check out 16 countries with the biggest oil reserves in the world in 2017. So without further ado, let’s take a look at our list, beginning from number 11: