Coal reserves

World total proved coal reserves in 2015 were sufficient to meet 114 years of global production, by far the largest R/P ratio for any fossil fuel

Europe & Eurasia holds the largest proved reserves while North America has the highest R/P ratio - 276 years. The Asia Pacific region holds the second-largest reserves, but higher rates of production - accounting for 70.6% of global output - leave it with the lowest regional R/P ratio (53 years).

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios 2015 by region (years)

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios history (years)


Total proved reserves of coal are generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainly can be recovered in the future from known deposits under existing economic and operating conditions.

Total proved coal reserves are shown for anthracite and bituminous (including brown coal) and sub-bituminous and lignite.

Reserves-to-production (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. They are calculated by dividing remaining reserves at the end of the year by the production in that year. The R/P ratios are calculated excluding other solid fuels in reserves and production.

R/P ratios are available by country and feature in the table of coal reserves. R/P ratios for the region and the world are depicted in the chart above and the Energy charting tool.

Coal reserve data is in million tonnes.


World Energy Resources 2013 Survey, World Energy Council.

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