Recoverable oil loses 282bn bbl as COVID-19 hastens peak oil

random sky GpTiWwvFMvA unsplashThe 2020 release of Rystad Energy’s annual global energy outlook reveals that the COVID-19 downturn will accelerate peak oil demand, put a lid on the exploration efforts in remote offshore areas and reduce the world's recoverable oil by around 282bn bbl

Global total expected remaining recoverable oil resources are declining to 1.903bn bbl, of which 42 per cent are in OPEC territory, with the remaining 58 per cent outside the alliance.

In Nigeria, future reserves are projected to decline further by six billion barrels amid a decade-long debate on oil policy reforms. Despite no immediate stability in Libya in sight, four billion barrels of future production capacity are dropping lower.

Given optimistic news about oil policy changes in Algeria, the capacity for shale exploration is projected to decrease by seven billion barrels of oil. In Angola, Rystad forecast less deepwater exploration as peak oil demand comes sooner due to COVID-19.

“Non-OPEC countries account for the lion’s share of ‘lost’ recoverable resources with more than 260 billion barrels of undiscovered oil now more likely to be left untouched, especially in remote exploratory areas,” said Rystad Energy’s head of analysis, Per Magnus Nysveen.

OPEC countries are also more resilient to the global crisis, and should lose just a fraction of their non-OPEC counterparts, such as the US (-49bn bbl) and Russia (-31bn bbl).

“OPEC countries are expected to lose 21bn bbl of reserves potential as the negative developments in Venezuela and Iran outweigh the increased strength and reserves potential of core OPEC countries in the Arab Gulf region,” Nysveen added.

Following the publication of the BP Statistical Review, Rystad Energy releases its annual outlook to provide an independent, solid and clear comparison of how the year has changed the energy landscape around the world.

As the clear winner of the OPEC+ agreement, Saudi Arabia is expected to add 25bn bbl to future production potential despite peak oil coming sooner.

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