Natural gas reserves since 1950

Natural gas reserves statistics

Natural gas reserves statistics by country

Reporting of gas reserves data varies widely across regions of the world. While reliable data on proven reserves is readily available in many countries, reserves figures are still considered strategic in some regions and their disclosure is driven by political consideration. For that reason, there are very few, recent, reliable sources for worldwide statistics on natural gas reserves. Covering every country with known natural gas reserves (124 countries as of January 2021), and updated annually since 1961, CEDIGAZ’ gas statistical database is without doubt the most comprehensive database on natural gas reserves and the one offering the longest historical series available.

Proved natural gas reserves in the world – Main trends in 2019

Worldwide proven natural gas increased marginally by 0.4% year-on-year to 205,141 bcm as of December 31, 2019 (+808 bcm).

In 2019, the largest gains were recorded in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and Africa (Mozambique), which offset decreases in Russia and some Asian countries (Malaysia, Pakistan).

Like in 2018, the growth was negative in Europe (- 119 bcm) and Asia-Oceania (- 98 bcm). Reserves remain highly concentrated, with the Middle East holding 39% of worldwide proven reserves, followed by the CIS at 33%. The top 3 reserves holders own more than half of the world’s total volume (Russia: 24%; Iran: 17%; Qatar: 12%).

Over the last 10 years, worldwide proven natural gas reserves grew slowly by 1%/year, representing a total additional volume of 19 627 bcm over the ten-year period. The largest regional reserves’ additions were posted by the CIS (+ 10162 bcm), driven up by Turkmenistan and Russia, followed by North America (+ 5903 bcm) and the Middle East (+ 5563 bcm).

Reversely, European gas reserves (Norway included) posted a loss of 2295 bcm over the ten years period, equivalent to an annual decline rate of 5.6%

Over the last five years, the growth in world gas reserves slowed strongly to only 0.4%/year (+ 4137 bcm). The growth in North America, thanks to US shale gas, and to a lesser extent in Africa (Mozambique) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia), compensated for losses in Europe and Southeast Asia (Malaysia & Indonesia).

The ratio of proved gas reserves to oil reserves has tended to decline since 2001, as the growth of oil reserves largely exceeded that of gas reserves. In the last five years, this ratio stabilized at 71%, against 73% in 2009.

Natural gas reserves by country