World coal reserves 2009
Total recoverable reserves of coal around the world are estimated at 929 billion tons - reflecting a current reserves-to-production ratio of 137. Historically, estimates of world recoverable coal reserves, although relatively stable, have declined gradually from 1,145 billion tons in 1991 to 1,083 billion tons in 2000 and 929 billion tons in 2006. The most recent assessment of world coal reserves includes a substantial downward adjustment for India, from 102 billion tons in 2003 to 62 billion tons in 2006—reportedly attributable to better data, which permitted the estimation of recoverable coal reserves as compared with previous estimates of in-place coal reserves. Estimated reserves for OECD Europe of 32 billion tons in the most recent assessment also are substantially lower than the 2003 assessment of 43 billion tons. Much of the downward adjustment for OECD Europe is a result of lower estimates for Poland, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. Poland’s reassessment of estimated recoverable coal reserves from 15 billion tons in 2003 to 8 billion tons in 2006 reflects the use of more restrictive criteria for geologic reliability.
Although coal deposits are widely distributed, 80 percent of the world’s recoverable reserves are located in five regions: the United States (28 percent), Russia (19 percent), China (14 percent), other non-OECD Europe and Eurasia (10 percent), and Australia/New Zealand (9 percent). In 2006 those five regions, taken together, produced 4.9 billion tons (95.8 quadrillion Btu) of coal, representing 71 percent (75 percent on a Btu basis) of total world coal production. By rank, anthracite and bituminous coal account for 51 percent of the world’s estimated recoverable coal reserves on a tonnage basis, subbituminous coal accounts for 32 percent, and lignite accounts for 18 percent. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA [Feb 2010]
Back to Knowledge Base Index