World oil reserves fall, just a little, in 2008

BP’s statistical review for 2008 is out today, and it shows proven oil reserves fell slightly last year, from 1,261bn barrels to 1,258bn barrels.

The only other Two other decreases appear in BP’s data since 1980. The first is in 1990, when reserves fell to 1,003.2bn from 1,005.8bn, largely due to falls in proven reserves in Angola, Qatar and Egypt, and smaller falls in Brunei, Tunisia, Malaysia.

The second was 1998, where a fall to 1,068.5bn from 1,069.3bn was due to moderate changes in Malaysia and India’s  numbers, and a small decrease in Gabon.

In 2008 the big falls were in Iran, Indonesia and China with smaller falls in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The lower reserves do not look dramatic against the overall chart since 1980:

BP, FT

Source: BP, FT

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