15 Countries That Control the World’s Oil

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Qatar, a small nation on the Arabian peninsula, became a big news story today after five Arab nations suspended diplomatic relations with that country, claiming Qatar is abetting terrorism.

The actions by the Arab nations — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and United Arab Emirates — might become a considerable problem for Qatar, which heavily depends on fuel exports for its economic output. Oil exports accounted for 43.8% of Qatar’s GDP in 2015. All the countries cutting ties with Qatar said they planned to terminate air and sea traffic to the oil-rich nation.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 15 countries with the most proved oil reserves from the “BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016.” The Middle East contains 47.3% of the world’s oil. North and South America are home to 33.4%. Qatar, with a population of 2.25 million people, ranks 13th in the world in proven oil reserves.

Click here to see the 15 countries that control the world’s oil.

Among Arab oil exporting countries, Qatar is ranked the least economically diverse by the International Monetary Fund, based on a gauge that measures manufacturing value.
The dispute among the Middle Eastern oil producing nations might prompt Qatar to break with OPEC and not price oil in lockstep with the cartel. Qatar joined OPEC in 1961.

Oil and gas helped make Qatar one of the world’s richest countries. Qatar’s GDP per capita of $130,686 is the highest in the world. By contrast, the United States has GDP per capita of $56,175.

Qatar’s al-Udeid air base houses the U.S. military’s central command. The United States has launched air strikes from the base against terrorist targets in the Middle East. It was not clear how the decision of the Arab states to sever ties with Qatar would affect American military operations.

The price of oil rose at the start of trading Monday but has fallen 1% to $47.19 in intraday trading in New York.

To identify the countries that control the world’s oil, 24/7 Wall St. ranked countries by 2015 proved oil reserves — those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be recovered in the future from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. Proved oil reserves came from the “BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016.” Reserves as a share of world total reserves and oil production in barrels also came from BP’s report. Each country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) for 2015 and came from the International Monetary Fund. The value of oil exports as a pct of GDP in 2015 was obtained from the International Monetary Fund.