In 2014, the oil industry experienced one of its periodic resets as the oil price plunged 50% from its summer peak. This latest reset came as surging oil supplies were met with less robust demand than expected. However, while there is a glut of oil in the present day, the future oil supply picture grew much tighter in 2014, as many oil companies were unable to replace all of their reserves with new discoveries. In fact, the proved oil and liquids reserves of the globe's supermajors actually dropped by well over a half a billion barrels from 2013 to 2014.
That drop aside, the world is still estimated to hold about 1.6 trillion barrels of proved oil reserves. That is expected to last about 50 years at the current consumption rate of 90 million barrels per day. However, most of that oil is controlled by countries, and not oil companies. In fact, about 75% of the world's oil is controlled by national oil companies, as the world's seven largest oil companies not controlled by a country hold only 50 billion barrels of proved oil reserves. So, while these might be the world's big oil giants, they are really small potatoes on the global scene.
That being said, proved oil reserves are still the lifeblood of oil stocks and therefore are very important to their future, as those companies with the most reserves have the best chance of withstanding future downturns.
That's why I've compiled the following slideshow of the top seven oil stocks not controlled by a foreign government and ranked them by proved oil reserves. You can probably guess that names like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), and BP (NYSE:BP) are on the list, but can you rank all seven in the correct order? Find out if you're correct by checking out the slideshow below.