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World's proved oil reserves start decline

THE world's proved oil reserves fell in 2008, the first drop in a decade, oil company BP Plc said yesterday.

Proved reserves of 1.258 trillion barrels in 2008 was 3 billion barrels less than in 2007, the company said.

Meanwhile, energy consumption by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development fell behind consumption by all other nations including China for the first time, BP said in its Statistical Review of World Energy.

"In 2008 the world was no longer supply-constrained, as production growth exceeded that of consumption for all fossil fuels, particularly later in the year," Tony Hayward, BP's group chief executive, said in an introduction to the report.

"Our data confirms that the world has enough proved reserves of oil, natural gas and coal to meet the world's needs for decades to come," Hayward added.

"The challenges the world faces in growing supplies to meet future demand are not below ground, they are above ground. They are human, not geological."

BP said increases in proved oil reserves in Vietnam, India and Egypt were offset by falls in Russia, Norway and China.

The company said in its annual global energy report that the proved reserves figure for 2007 had been revised upward by 23.1 billion barrels.

Middle Eastern producers accounted for 59.9 percent of global reserves, led by Saudi Arabia with 21 percent.

Non-OPEC figures fell by 1.4 percent, the biggest drop since 1992.


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