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10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

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These 10 countries that are running out of oil will face serious problems down the road unless new reserves are found and tapped into.

For a while now, you can scarcely hear the term peak oil, which was widely used in the past to describe the end of the cheap oil era. For a while, it seemed that we are running out of oil, with the price exceeding $100 per barrel. But then United States shoal revolution got into the high gear, and prices came tumbling down, falling for a while below $40 threshold. For many oil producers, this is hardly enough to keep operating, and for many oil producing countries, especially those in OPEC, low oil prices are creating havoc in governments’ budgets. Still, any call for decreased production in order to bump up the price within the organization has been met with a resolute no from Saudi Arabia, a key player on the market. Determined to force US shoal oil producers into extinction by flooding the market with their oil, Riyadh is confident that it can weather the storm of fiscal deficit. Other countries aren’t that eager to test their limits, especially Russia, but there’s little they can do.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

huyangshu/Shutterstock.com

Current low prices are driving the consumption through the roof, and countries like China and India are yet to reach their peak consumption. Both of these countries are still using far less oil per capita than Western countries, but the gap is getting smaller every year. With their limited reserves and production, they are heavily dependent on imported oil and will be even more so in the future. The current paradox of increased demand and falling prices can’t hold for much longer, and when the market corrects itself, there will be some serious consequences, especially for countries that are running out of oil.

In order to create this list, we used data from OPEC 2016 Annual Statistical Bulletin. For each country on the list, we supplied production, proven reserves, estimated time frame when they will run out of oil and imports. Interestingly enough, even some of the countries that produce the most oil are at risk of running out of it.

10. Brazil

Production (1,000 b/d): 2,437.3
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 16,184
Years of production left at current level: 18 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): 251.7
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 556.6

We kick off with Brazil. South America’s largest economy needs a lot of oil to fuel its growth. Fortunately for Brazil, there’s plenty of domestic oil production to meet the demand. They do import plenty of refined fuel and even some crude oil, but overall production far outpaces the imports.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

maradon 333/Shutterstock.com

9. China

Production (1,000 b/d): 4,273.7
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 25,132
Years of production left at current level: 16 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): 6,730.9
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 1,150.9

China is slowly stepping into the role the United States played in the 1970s and 1980s, that of a glutinous oil-hungry behemoth bent on getting its oil wherever and however possible. With its domestic production peaking in 2015 and on a decline and record high crude oil imports, China is facing a strategic problem of oil dependency, one that will not be easy to solve. The recent warming up of Sino-Russian relations is aimed as a part of the solution, among other things, like an attempt to curb the American influence.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

 8. Malaysia

Production (1,000 b/d): 665.0
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 3,750
Years of production left at current level: 14 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): –
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): –

The first of only three countries on our list that doesn’t import either crude oil or petroleum products. Malaysia’s oil production is sufficient for domestic needs, with plenty remaining for exports, but when those wells dry up, some adjustment will be needed for the transition to imported oil.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

7. Angola

Production (1,000 b/d): 1,767.1
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 9,524
Years of production left at current level: 14 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): –
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 134.5

Angola’s economy is heavily dependent on oil production. In 2004, 80% of the government’s budget came from oil production taxes. In the same year, the oil industry was responsible for 45% of country’s GDP. While Angola’s oil reserves are plentiful, they aren’t infinite, and some hard steps will be needed to reduce country’s dependence on the oil industry.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

QiuJu Song/Shuterrstock.com

6. Indonesia

Production (1,000 b/d): 690.1
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 3,230
Years of production left at current level: 12 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): 374.4
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 506.0

Indonesia has been one of the larger oil exporters back in the 1980s, but have since then turned into a net importer, due to increased domestic consumption. It does have a significant potential for increased production, with many unexplored oil basins around the country.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

marchello74 / shutterstock.com

5. Mexico

Production (1,000 b/d): 2,266.8
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 9,711
Years of production left at current level: 11 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): –
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 712.9

Mexico’s oil production is in decline and the country produced 200,000 barrels per day less in 2015 than it did in 2011. The current level of 2.2 million barrels is a far cry from 2006’s 3.7 million barrels and status of world’s seventh largest oil producer. In order to maintain productivity in one of the largest oil fields in the world, Pemex has been injecting nitrogen into the giant Cantarell Field. This massive operation was consuming half of the world’s nitrogen production at one point. The results were impressive but short-lived. The decline in oil production is causing severe fiscal problems for the Mexican government, which will require some creative thinking to solve.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

Corepics VOF/Shutterstock.com

4. United States

Production (1,000 b/d): 9,430.8
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 36,385
Years of production left at current level: 10 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): 7,351.0
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 2,050.0

The United States oil reserves are a somewhat controversial topic. The proven reserves of some 36 billion barrels are the highest in United States history. However, in their Statistical Review of World Energy published in June 2016, BP claims that the figure is actually 55 billion. To complicate things further, there are large reserves of oil and natural gas in Outer Continental Shelf, estimated between 66.6 and 115.1 billion barrels, which are currently off limits to oil companies due to US legislation. When all of this is put together, United States have the largest oil reserves in the world, easily surpassing those of Saudi Arabia and Russia and have no business being among the top 10 countries that are running out of oil. However, we decided to go with the OPEC and US Energy Information Administration numbers, since they represent the only proven amount.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

3. Norway

Production (1,000 b/d): 1,567.4
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 5,139
Years of production left at current level: 8 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): –
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): –

The third place on our list of 10 countries that are running out of oil goes to Norway. The smallest country on the list exports 8 times more oil and natural gas than it consumes. Unlike the other countries, Norway is actively preparing for the day when their oil runs out, investing a large part of oil income into a fund colloquially known as The Oil Fund. The fund is the largest stock owner in Europe and currently, owns 1% of all global commodities.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

Zorandim/Shutterstock.com

2. United Kingdom

Production (1,000 b/d): 879.7
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 2,755
Years of production left at current level: 8 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): 856.2
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): 652.4

After a short stagnation period between 2012 and 2014, United Kingdom’s oil production seems to be ramping up again. OPEC estimates that production in 2015 has been increased by more than 13% compared to 2014. With the expected start of exploitation of Mariner oilfield in 2018, the figure should remain stable, despite the depletion of oil fields currently in use. However, UK’s problems aren’t geological, but rather political. With the unexpected vote on Brexit, there are renewed clamoring for Scottish independence, which could bring up the issue of ownership of North Sea oil fields.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil

1. Colombia

Production (1,000 b/d): 1,005.6
Proven reserves (millions of barrels): 2,308
Years of production left at current level: 6 years
2015 import of crude oil (1,000 b/d): –
2015 import of petroleum products (1,000 b/d): –

Another country on our list that doesn’t import oil is Colombia. Oil exports play a significant role in country’s fiscal policy, accounting for some 20% of all exports. Almost all of the exported oil goes to the United States. As the peace deal between the government and FARC has been signed, a substantial space for increased production has been opened. Country’s rural region, previously off limit to explorers, could also hold many potential oil fields, which would hopefully increase Colombia’s energy stability. With years of production left at the current level estimated at six, Colombia is on top of this list of 10 countries that are running out of oil.

10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil


59 Comments on "10 Countries that Are Running Out of Oil"

  1. makati1 on Fri, 25th Nov 2016 9:59 pm 

    Ap, I worked in the ‘construction industry’. Does that make me and expert on building suspension bridges? Skyscrapers? Subways? Refineries? Steel mills? EX must be American. No other nation is so full of arrogant bullshit. LMAO

  2. Apneaman on Fri, 25th Nov 2016 10:07 pm 

    Mak, I ate a bacon burger tonight, therefore, I’m an expert on industrial cattle breeding and pig farming. After I shit it out tomorrow and flush, I’ll be an expert on urban sewage systems.

  3. makati1 on Fri, 25th Nov 2016 11:26 pm 

    Ap, HAHAHAHA! We are obviously ‘experts’ on many things.

  4. pat on Fri, 25th Nov 2016 11:30 pm 

    “The quality of the resource (measured by its ability to deliver energy) has fallen low enough that its ROA is rapidly approaching zero. The 158 year history of the commercial industrial oil age has been spearheaded by a quest for the very best that could be found. What remained was of lower quality. That resulted in lower production wells, higher levels of contaminates, much higher or much lower viscosity, and ever increasing water cut. The overall reserve has declined in quality.
    We project that there is absolutely no possibility of the world running out of oil in the foreseeable future. The possibility of investors (whom ever they are) running out of patience is a totally different matter

    what does the above say? its over the initial low bottom oil prices only to sky rocket but not to save the world, oil industry thus unprecedented decline in oil production and collapse of economy, oil age…

  5. sinnycool on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 3:03 am 

    Poor little Australia got left off the map again.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?country=au&product=oil&graph=production

  6. Shortend on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 3:47 am 

    Its called DEPLETION

  7. Bob Inget on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 1:27 pm 

    Two Inexorable events; Depletion and population growth. Food and water requirements are not indirectly connected with energy.

    More often ignored, demands from world military.

    The US is currently fighting in at least three
    highly mechanized wars.. (bombing Yemen, Syria,
    Iraq)

    Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined.
    Where in the World Is the U.S. Military? – POLITICO Magazine
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

  8. Robert Spoley on Mon, 28th Nov 2016 11:37 am 

    Running out of oil. An interesting concept. Oil production is rarely a function of the presence of oil, but is usually a function of relative permeability in the various reservoirs. Dirty reservoirs leave more oil behind because the water is more tightly held. Witness the “horizontal shale production” which is largely a function of dewatering the “reservoir” in order to increase the permeability to oil. Once the disposal of the water problem is solved, every old field on the planet will be subject to dewatering with resulting increases in oil production. At that time this topic will be mute. The areas with the fastest decline rates will be the first ones to attack the water problem. Economics be damned.

  9. peakyeast on Mon, 28th Nov 2016 11:46 am 

    @robert: I dont care what permeability you have – if there is no presence of oil the function is always bpd=0 – for all cases – and there is way more of no presence than there is of the opposite so you are an estimated 99% wrong. ;-)j/k

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