May 10, 2013

Top 10 Oil Reserves in the World

3 min
    VENEZUELA Early in 2011, recently deceased Presiden...




Early in 2011, recently deceased President Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela held the largest proven oil reserves in the world—a whopping 297 billion barrels worth, topping the previous long-term world leader, Saudi Arabia, by more than 30 billion barrels.

The country also contains oil sands deposits, less viscous than Canada's, meaning they can be produced by more conventional means but are buried deeper and, thus, harder to extract.

Although the country continues to be one of the US' largest suppliers, the development of its oil reserves has long been affected by political unrest.

Under Chavez, Venezuela's tens of billions of dollars worth of oil earnings were redistributed in the form of cheap gasoline (18 cents per gallon or less) both at home and in parts of the Caribbean and Latin America. Production, however, declined during his reign due to inadequate investment in energy infrastructure and the replacement of skilled labor with political loyalists. The next president will be forced to confront the economic and political consequences of that regime.


Coming in second place, the Kingdom's reserves are estimated to be 267 billion barrels of crude, about one-fifth of the world's total conventional oil reserves. Although the country has about 100 major oil and gas fields, over half of its supplies are found in eight massive fields, including the world's largest, the Ghawar Field.


Although Iraq has only officially confirmed reserves of 143 billion barrels of oil, recent geological survey and seismic data have led the government to believe that the country has the world's largest oil reserves (over 350 billion barrels). Due to military occupation, official statistics have not been revised since 2001.


The majority of Canada's oil reserves (over 95 per cent) can be found in its oil sands deposits in the province of Alberta. Whether or not a 2,100-mile pipeline will be built to carry some of that crude to refineries in the southern US through the Keystone XL pipeline continues to see heated debate between proponents and environmental groups in North America.


Tying with Canada in third place, Iran has about 150 billion barrels of proven oil reserves—roughly ten per cent of the world's total proven petroleum reserves. Iran is also the world's fourth-largest oil producer and OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia.


OPEC's third-largest oil producer claims to hold around 104 billion barrels, including the five billion barrels in the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zones shared with Saudi Arabia. Most of those supplies are located in the Burgan field, the second-largest conventional oil field in the world.


With about 98 billion barrels, the UAE is a tiny country with vast reserves, most of which can be found at the third-largest oil field in the Middle East, the Zakum field.


Russia's oil production has been up and down for decades due to factors including the collapse of the former Soviet Union, privatization of the industry, fluctuations in global prices and the use of newer technologies to rejuvenate old oil fields. Today, the country is the largest producer and exporter of oil in the world.


Oil reserves in Libya are the largest in Africa and the fifth-largest in the world (about 77 billion barrels worth of oil as of 2010). Due to the low cost of oil production in the area and its proximity to Europe, Libya is an extremely attractive place for development. Sanctions and disagreements with foreign oil companies, however, leave much of the country yet to be explored.


With an estimated 49 billion barrels worth of proven reserves, Kazahkstan holds a significant portion of global oil supply. Of its over 200 discovered oil and gas accumulations, the Kashagen, Tengiz and Karachaganak fields are considered giants.


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Mar 20, 2020

Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s To...

Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management. 

As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient. 

In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared. 

“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner. 

Establish a preparedness framework

Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.

Monitor the situation

It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.

Revise finance

Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out. 

Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.

Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols

It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.

Review HR 

Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.

In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences. 


Establish a communication programme

People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.

Review the impact on the operation

Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.

Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?

Review IT 

IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.

In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications. 

Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response

Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.

Review after-action

Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.

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