China Adds Most Crude Reserves Amid Global Increase, OPEC Says

China’s crude oil reserves rose by the most in 2012, making it the 11th largest holder of oil globally, according to OPEC. Worldwide inventories increased by 0.9 percent.

Proven reserves in China gained by 26 percent to 25.6 billion barrels, overtaking Qatar, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said yesterday in its Annual Statistical Bulletin. The volume of available oil in Colombia grew by 16 percent and 12 percent in Argentina.

Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, the two largest holders of oil globally, notched up increases to 298 billion barrels and 266 billion respectively for 2012, according to OPEC. Global reserves increased to 1.48 trillion, the group said.

The figures for the U.S. and Canada were unchanged from 2011 at 23.3 billion and 4.9 billion respectively as the data only include conventional crude.

According to the producer group, OPEC holds 81 percent of the world’s oil, or 1.2 trillion barrels. Its members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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