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Ernst & Young: Growth in worldwide oil and gas reserves

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

As a result of growth in Asia-Pacific gas reserves, investments in Canada’s oil sands and the dramatic increase of US shale reserves, worldwide oil and gas reserves increased in 2011. Worldwide oil reserves grew by 1% in 2011, while gas reserves rose by 4%. Oil and gas revenues experienced 27% growth in 2011.

Worldwide end-of-year oil reserves have increased each year of the study period and grew a further 1% in 2011, with Canada and the US reporting the largest increases. Worldwide oil production declined 4% in 2011 as production increases elsewhere were outweighed by declines in the Africa and Middle East region, largely related to political instability, and declines in Europe which were structurally related to several years of underinvestment.  Oil production replacement rates have been strong in recent years with a finding and development (or excluding purchases and sales) rate of 128% in 2011 and a three year (2009-2011) average of 126%

Increases in oil and gas prices fueled a 27% increase in revenues from oil and gas producing activities for companies featured in the study, with total revenues reaching US$1.2 trillion. Production costs rose 31% in 2011 as the costs for labor, services and other expenses increased and production taxes climbed. Worldwide after-tax upstream profits increased by 29% from 2010, with the companies’ profits reaching US$319.9 billion in 2011.

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