The region’s total oil proved recoverable reserves amounted to 51 billion tonnes, representing 21.3% of the global oil reserves. Top countries per oil recoverable reserves include Venezuela (46,971 mt), Brazil (1,889.5 mt), Ecuador (1,174.7 mt), Colombia (333 mt), Argentina (328.2 mt), Peru (170.4 mt) and Trinidad & Tobago (98.8 mt). Top producing countries include Venezuela (135.2 mt), Brazil (131.8 mt), Colombia (53.1 mt), Argentina (29.7 mt) and Ecuador (29.1 mt). (Source: BP, 2016)

Venezuela has some of the largest oil reserves in the world estimated at 300 billion barrels and much of the oil production occurs at mature oil fields that require substantial financing for maintenance. Production was registered in 2015 at 2.6 million b/d, down with 2.1% from 2014, but generally has been decreasing steadily since 2007. Oil consumption went down by 12.7% from 2014 to 2015, to reach 678,000 b/d. The country’s economic crisis is having an impact on future oil production, which is predicted to continue on the downward trend.

Brazil’s total proved oil reserves were estimated at 13 billion barrels in 2015, a decrease of almost 20% from the previous year. Production reached in 2015 2.5 million b/d, an increase of about 8% from 2014. Most of the Brazil’s output comes from the mature oil fields in Campos Basin. The new legislation on allowing foreign investments in offshore oil fields is intended to revive this important industry for the country’s precarious economy.

Ecuador, OPEC’s smallest producer, had an estimated total proved oil reserves of 8 billion barrels in 2015. Oil production in 2015 fell by 2.4% from the previous year to reach 543,000 b/d, as well as consumption with a downfall of 2.3% to reach 253,000 b/d in 2015. Oil is one of the primary sources of export revenue for the country, so low oil prices brought economical struggles leading the country to seek loans from China, which also received rights to undertake oil exploration in a remote area of the Amazon forest populated by indigenous people.

Colombia’s total proved oil reserves were estimated at 2.3 billion barrels in 2015. Oil production amounted to around 1 million b/d, while consumption to 331,000 b/d. Oil industry has been facing difficulties from rebel groups and protesters who committed attacks on oil infrastructure and delaying projects, as well as from low oil price.

Argentina’s total proved reserves were estimated at 2.4 billion barrels in 2015. Oil production reached 637,000 b/d in 2015, while consumption totalled 670,000 b/d. The country has significant shale oil reserves, estimated at 27 billion barrels – the fourth largest in the world, in the Vaca Muerte, which comprises four provinces – Neuquén, La Pampa, Mendoza and Rio Negro. Recent changes in government subsidies that were supposed to keep the domestic crude oil prices at around $67.50 per barrel to encourage exploration and attract investment, have actually downgraded the stock of national oil companies by up to 40%. The significant drop in pricing will certainly negatively impact the industry in the near future.

Oil Production

Oil Production397million tonnes per year

Oil Recoverable Reserves51billion tonnes

Oil Recoverable Reserves by region

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Oil Recoverable Reserves by country

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Top Oil producing countries

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Oil data represents Crude Oil only, for extra-heavy oil and oil shale please refer to the WER 2013 report oil chapter.