Here are the 10 top countries that hold the largest key fossil fuel reserves, including oil, natural gas and coal, promising the most impact on the energy arena.
China is the world’s larger producer and consumer of energy. While coal remains its primary source of energy, the production of natural gas is growing. The country is responsible for close to 50 percent of global coal consumption.
- United Arab Emirates
The UAE produces in the vicinity of 2.8 million barrels of crude oil daily. The UAE is making headway in the diversification of its manufacturing industries and tourism, but it’s believed its energy sector will eventually dominate the economy.
New gas fields and other projects are likely to maximize Qatar’s presence even more in the energy market, which has thrived over recent years. Over 60 percent of the government’s total 2012 revenues came from oil exports.
Iraq overtook Iran as the world’s second largest producer of crude oil. While the trend’s continuation may be dependent on the country’s stability, its stance in the energy market will always make Iraq appealing to foreign investors.
One of the world’s five top energy producers, Canada is a primary source of imported energy to the United States. The development of Athabasca and Bakken oil sands is giving Canada a key position in the energy sector.
- United States
Firmly holding the position of second largest energy consumer in the world, the future of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing could dynamically alter the U.S.’s need for foreign energy. Both these factors have made once economically illogical reserves open to development.
- Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter and producer of petroleum, as well as the source of one fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves. They have an impressive natural and undeveloped gas reserve while focusing on oil and an increasing production in solar energy.
With vast energy reserves, Orinoco alone has the capacity for 380–652 barrels by itself. Unfortunately, this oil requires complex extraction methods that won’t be feasible until the country improves investment and inflation issues.
Despite sanctions that have stalled foreign investment and technology in the development of the country’s undeveloped natural gas, there has been an increase in Iran’s domestic refineries. The country holds the largest natural gas reserves and the fourth largest oil reserves.
The country’s current economic growth is contributed largely to its energy exports. Gas and oil revenues are responsible for 52 percent of the federal budget revenue. Russia also holds the world’s second largest natural gas reserves.
These countries will be front and center as fossil fuel supplies threaten to dwindle.