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World’s Oil Reserves Unchanged in 2015, Prices Hit New 2016 Highs

June 8, 2016 at 19:07 by Andrew Moran

After crude oil prices cratered in 2015, there was a significant drop in both oil investment and exploration. Despite this, the world’s oil reserves were relatively unchanged in 2015, says a new benchmark industry report from BP.

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, global oil reserves declined by just 0.1% to 1.698 billion barrels. The world’s oil reserves stayed the same even with oil prices collapsing to under $30 a barrel and investment in oil and gas declining by $160 billion. The report warns that investment may tumble by an extra $50 billion this year.

Last year, oil production jumped by 3.2% to 91.67 million barrels per day (bpd). The increase was attributed to Iraq and Saudi Arabia ramping up record output and immense US shale oil production. BP notes that the North American shale revolution helped stabilize oil and gas resources. In 2015, US oil reserves were unchanged at 55 billion barrels and were double that of 2005 levels.

The sharp decline in oil prices launched a considerable jump in consumption. The report found that consumption rose 1.9% and was driven by the US, China, Japan, and India. China recorded the largest consumption volumes with demand growing 6.1%.

Oil production really depends on prices. Extracting proven oil and gas reserves can be based on prices and if it is financially viable for companies to pump it out of the ground.

Oil prices finished on Wednesday at new 2016 highs. US crude futures settled 1.7% higher, or $0.87, at $51.23 a barrel. Brent crude futures rose 2.1%, or $1.07, at $52.50 per barrel.

Wednesday’s gains were because of fresh supply outages in Nigeria due to the Niger Delta Avengers attacking more pipelines. The rebel group confirmed on Twitter that it has rejected talks with the government and will continue to disrupt oil output. Also, oil prices jumped based on US crude production increasing by 10,000 bpd to 8.745 million bpd from last week.

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