Saudi Arabia has added enough recoverable oil resources to retake top position ahead of the United States and Russia, according to Rystad.
The Rystad Energy Annual Review found that the addition of 73 billion barrels of recoverable oil since the 2016 review had helped the country to regain the top spot.
Commenting on the review, Rystad Energy’s head analyst Per Magnus Nysveen said: “We are halfway in the buildup phase for US shale. We will see a new upcycle in the E&P business once US shale reaches this potential.
“Oil demand will also remain surprisingly robust over the next decade, despite new innovations to meet growing demand for individual transport in the Western Hemisphere.”
The annual review looks at proved, probable and expected reserves in order to rank the countries.
The findings showed that in the US, unconventional shale oil makes up more than 50% of the country’s total recoverable oil resources, which currently stand at 263 billion barrels.
Rystad noted that if natural gas liquids were included in the review, the US would surpass Saudi Arabia by over 50 billion barrels.
It estimated the total global recoverable oil resources at 2.2 trillion barrels, with 33% coming from offshore accounts and 30% from unconventional oil recovery accounts.
The review adds that as much as 40% of the recoverable oil would require prices higher than $80/bbl to become profitable for the oil companies.