Coal reserves

World proved coal reserves are currently sufficient to meet 153 years of global production, roughly three times the R/P ratio for oil and gas

By region, Asia Pacific holds the most proved reserves (46.5% of total), with China accounting for 21.4%. The US remains the largest reserve holder with (22.1%) of the total. North America has the highest regional R/P ratio (356 years).

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios 2016 by region (years)

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios 2016 by region (years)

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


Includes data from Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) Energy Study 2016.

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