Venezuela is now the country with the most proven crude oil
reserves on the planet, 296.5 billion barrels, according to the
Annual Statistical Bulletin of the Organization of the Oil
The South American country's known reserves grew between 2009 and
2010 by 40 percent, compared with the stagnation of Saudi Arabia's
reserves, which OPEC figures to be 264.52 billion barrels.
Ecuador, the other Latin American member of OPEC, in 2010 had
reserves of 7.2 billion barrels, 10 percent more than it possessed
the previous year.
In all, OPEC calculates that the planet had 1.46 trillion barrels
of known crude oil reserves as of 2010, of which the 12 members of
the petroleum cartel hold 81.3 percent.
That percentage grew from 79.6 percent in 2009, mainly thanks to
Venezuela's increase in reserves.
Two other OPEC nations, Iran, with 151.17 billion barrels, and
Iraq with 143.1 billion barrels, are ranked third and fourth,
respectively, in terms of known crude oil reserves.
Next on the list are non-OPEC members Russia, with 79.43 billion
barrels, and Kazakhstan, with 39.8 billion barrels.
Brazil, with reserves of 12.86 billion, and Mexico, with 11.69
billion barrels, are also not part of OPEC.
Although Venezuela has the largest reserves, with regard to the
capacity to exploit its oil Saudi Arabia continues to be the
world's undisputed main producer with the ability to pump more
than 8 million barrels per day.
Venezuela, meanwhile, extracts about 2.8 million bpd.
The Andean nation is the world's No. 5 oil exporter and a key
supplier to the US.