Proven oil reserves refer to reserves that can be recovered under the current economic and political conditions using existing technology. Over the past decades, the price of oil has varied greatly. This is a significant concern for both government institutions and for global policymakers. Demand for fossil fuel is continually growing due to the wide applications of oil products. With the increase in demand for fossil fuel and the over-reliance of these products, one may wonder whether there are enough oil reserves in the world to satisfy the growing demand for oil. To answer this question, we have to analyze the list of countries with the most oil reserves. Below is a list of the top five states in the world with the most oil reserves: 


Venezuela is composed of a large landmass and small islands and islets that are found in the Caribbean Sea. Venezuela is ranked as the 33rd largest country in the world covering an area of 916,445 square kilometers. Venezuela has more proven oil reserves than any other country on Earth, with 300,878 billion barrels. Despite having the most oil reserves; the development of oil reserves in this country has been greatly affected due to political unrest in the past years. Venezuela is the largest supplier of oil to the United States; it is estimated that this country exports approximately 1.4 million barrels of oil per day to the United States.

Saudi Arabia

For many years, Saudi Arabia was believed to have more oil than any other country on Earth. Saudi Arabia has 266,455 billion barrels of proven oil reserves with a majority of these oil reserves being found in the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia had the highest number of oil reserves until 2011 when Venezuela announced that it had increased the official number of its oil reserves. Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia produces approximately 10.3 million barrels of oil, more than anywhere else in the world. Some Geologists believe that there are undiscovered oil reserves in this country that, if discovered, will make Saudi Arabia the leading state regarding oil reserves.


Canada has the third highest number of proven oil reserves. This country has a total of 169,709 proven oil reserves, the majority of these reserves are in the form of oil sands and deposits that are located in Alberta. The province of Alberta also has the highest number of accessible oil reserves in Canada. The energy industry of Canada has been greatly developed and it is both an exporter and importer of oil products.


Iran has 158,400 proven oil reserves making it one of the wealthiest countries based on global oil resources. Iran is the fourth ranking country based on the number of proven oil reserves; however, this country could be the third largest if the Canadian reserves of unconventional oil were excluded. Iran forms approximately 10% of all the proven oil reserves in the world. The number of oil reserves in this country can last up to 98 years if no new oil reserves are discovered.


Despite undergoing political instability in the past years, Iraq is one of the richest nations based on the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Iraq has 142,503 proven oil reserves making it the fifth largest state based on proven oil reserves. The primary source of oil in Iraq is located in Shiite, and the majority of the proven oil reserves in this country come from the cities of Basra, Baghdad, Ramadi, and Ba’aj.

Countries With the Most Oil
RankCountryOil Reserves (Millions of Barrels)
2Saudi Arabia266,455
7United Arab Emirates97,800
11United States35,000