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This paper reviews oil and gas worldwide supply and demand and their effect on oil prices and consequently on related industries such as refining, drilling technology, enhanced oil recovery, natural gas liquefaction,..etc. The proved oil reserves in the world is about 7x10 bbl with about 56% located in the Middle East. The worldwide natural gas reserves is estimated as 3.484 × 10 ft with 43% located in U.S.S.R and 25% in the Middle- East. The heavy oil reserves is estimated as 5.8 - 5.9 × 10-12 barrels with 72% located in Venezuela. The bitumen reserves is estimated as 200 billion barrels with 82% located in Canada.

In 1979, oil production reached it's peak of about 66 × 10-6 bbl/day out of which 21.91 × 10-6 bbl/day was produced from the Middle East. Then the demand for oil declined till 1985. An increase in the demand was reported in early 1986. About 25% of oil produced was consumed by U.S.A., 21% by Western Europe, 15% by U.S.S.R. and 7.5% by Japan. Oil tankers, especially supertanker, and refining industries were suffering in the last several years as they were operated at rates less than their capacities. Oil prices declined since 1982 and collapsed in 1986. Such reduction in oil price, if sustained, is expected to hurt drilling activities, enhanced oil recovery projects which may result in less supply and declining reserve and consequently a big hike in oil prices in the future. Among different sources of energy, oil has proved to be the main source of energy for worldwide consumption.

The demand for gas is increasing. The production in early 1966 reached a rate of 190 × 10 ft / day with about 35% produced from U.S.S.R and about 25% from U.S.A. The main consumers of natural gas are U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Japan and Western Europe. U.S.S.R. supplies Western and Eastern Europe with most of their needs of natural gases.


Oil and gas supply and demand plays a major role in controlling their prices. This affects to a great extent different projects related to oil and gas industry such as drilling activities, secondary and enhanced oil recovery refining, petrochemicals … etc. To have a proper strategic planning for such projects, a full and clear picture of oil and gas supply and demand must be available. In this article, a full review of oil and gas reserves and their distribution in the world is presented. The distribution of oil production, consumption and trade movements (exporting and importing) is discussed. The discussion included two main industries directly related to oil production and consumption, worldwide refining and tanker fleet capacities and activities. A historical review of oil prices and their effect on oil supply and demand was also presented. The distribution of natural gas production, consumption and trade movements (exporting and importing) is discussed. Transportation systems and natural gas liquefaction projects around the world are reviewed. A comparison between different sources of primary energy is discussed in this paper.


Worldwide proved oil reserves totaled 700.141 billion barrels and that of natural gas 3.484 × 10 ft in January 1986. This indicates a decline of about 1% in oil- reserves and an increase of 2.48% in gas reserves over the estimates of both oil and natural gas at the end of 1984. Table 1 shows oil and gas reserves around the world. The Middle East holds over 56% of oil reserves and about 25% of the gas.

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