Natural gas reserves

World proved natural gas reserves at end-2013 stood at 185.7 trillion cubic metres (tcm), sufficient to meet 55.1 years of global production. Proved reserves grew by 0.2% relative to end-2012 data

An increase in the US (+7.1%) accounted for all of the net growth in global proved reserves in 2013. Iran (33.8 tcm) and Russia (31.3 tcm) hold the largest proved reserves.

Reserves-to-production (R/P) ratios

2013 by region

Reserves-to-production (R/P) ratios

Years - History


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.


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.

Natural gas downloads