Natural gas reserves

World proved natural gas reserves at end-2012 stood at 187.3 trillion cubic metres, sufficient to meet 55.7 years of global production

Proved reserves declined by 0.3% relative to end-2011 data, the first annual decline in our data set. Revisions were made to the earlier published estimates for proved reserves in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries, which lowered the FSU R/P ratio to 71 years, from 96.3 years at end-2011 in last year’s edition.

Reserves-to-production (R/P) ratios

Years (2012 by region)


Reserves-to-production (R/P) ratios

Years - History

World proved natural gas reserves at end-2012 stood at 187.3 trillion cubic metres, sufficient to meet 55.7 years of global production. Proved reserves declined by 0.3% relative to end-2011 data, the first annual decline in our data set. Revisions were made to the earlier published estimates for proved reserves in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries, which lowered the FSU R/P ratio to 71 years, from 96.3 years at end-2011 in last year’s edition.


Methodology


Proved reserves of natural gas are generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be recovered in the future from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions.

R/P ratios represent the length of time that those remaining reserves would last if production were to continue at the previous year's rate. It is calculated by dividing remaining reserves at the end of the year by the production in that year.

The data series for proved gas reserves in this year’s Review does not necessarily meet the definitions, guidelines and practices used for determining proved reserves at company level, for instance, under accounting rules contained in the Statement of Recommended Practice. 'Accounting for Oil and Gas Exploration, Development, Production and Decommissioning Activities' (UK SORP) or as published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission nor does it necessarily represent BP's view of proved reserves by country. Rather the data series has been compiled using a combination of primary official sources and third-party data.

Although every effort is made to come up with a consistent series for reserves based on a common definition, in reality different countries use different methodologies and the data have varying levels of reliability.

Reserves-to-production (R/P) ratios are available by country and feature in the table of gas reserves. R/P ratios for the region and the world are depicted in the chart above and the Energy charting tool.

There is a time series of natural gas reserves in the Excel workbook. Data are measured in billion cubic metres.

Sources

The estimates for proved gas reserves  have been compiled using a combination of primary official sources and third party data from Cedigaz and the OPEC Secretariat.