Resources Evaluation

Spatial Distribution Pattern of Global Oil Resources and Its Evolution

  • School of Geographical Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210046, China

Received date: 2009-10-20

  Revised date: 2010-07-27

  Online published: 2010-11-20


Taking proved oil reserves as indicator, this paper analyzes the spatial distribution pattern of global oil resources and its evolution in 1980-2009. According to the staged increase trend of global proved oil reserves during 1980-2009, the evolution process can be divided into five stages, and their characteristic time points could be selected correspondingly; then, the spatial rank distribution pattern and spatial organization of global oil resources at each time point can be discussed based on the function of spatial classification and visualization of ArcView GIS. The results are as follows. 1) The overall spatial distribution pattern of global oil resources can be characterized as irregular multi-centric layer structures, thereinto, Persian Gulf oil region and Mexico Gulf-Caribbean Sea oil regions are the two global oil poles in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres respectively, and their central roles were increasingly strengthened, while the other local oil regions, such as North American continent oil region, Caspian Sea oil region, Eurasia oil region, North Africa oil region, West Africa oil region, North Sea oil region and Java Sea oil region, experience different growth patterns. 2) The evolution of global distribution of oil resources is characterized as rise in the East and fall in the West, and the overall distribution pattern experienced an evolution process of diversification during 1980-1985, centralization during 1986-1990, re-diversification during 1991-1997, re-centralization during 1998-2001, and diversification again during 2002-2009, which eventually results in centralization in the North and diversification in the South. 3) The distribution space of oil resources in Western Hemisphere splited gradually into two layer structures with Venezuela and Canada as their reserve centers respectively, while four oil regions of North Africa, Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea and Eurasia lying through the mid-Eastern Hemisphere have been spatially joining together to form a huge crescent-like oil reserve belt, which could extend southward from Far East in the future.

Cite this article

HAO Li-sha, ZHAO Yuan . Spatial Distribution Pattern of Global Oil Resources and Its Evolution[J]. JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 2010 , 25(11) : 1897 -1906 . DOI: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2010.11.009


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