Coal reserves

World proved coal reserves are currently sufficient to meet 134 years of global production, much higher than the R/P ratio for oil and gas

By region, Asia Pacific holds the most proved reserves (41% of total), split mainly between Australia, China and India. The US remains the largest single reserve holder (24.2% of total).

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios – 2017 by region (years)

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios – 2017 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 2017.

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