By Tim Hepher and Maja Zuvela
PARIS/STOCKHOLM, Sept 22 (Reuters) – India’s long-standing position atop world strategic reserves topped the list of most strategic oil reserves in the United States at the end of the year, according to a new report on Friday.
The bulk of the reserves of the world’s largest economy was held by Indian state-owned companies including Reliance Industries, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corp, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed.
The Austin-based EIA, which reviews government inventory estimates and regularly releases outlooks on the global oil market, put the reserve values of all U.S. oil companies at 13.7 million barrels per day, meaning India’s been one of the most expansive reserve holders in decades.
“Given Indian economic, military and political importance to oil and gas consumption, India’s emergency reserve status should not be overlooked,” the EIA said.
By nation size, Japan topped the list with $2.5 billion in reserves. China was second with $1.6 billion, the EIA said.
Afghanistan and Iraq rounded out the top five with oil reserves of $6.4 billion and $7.3 billion respectively.
India’s oil reserves, part of the country’s “strategic petroleum reserve”, are located in deep ocean wells. India and Australia have also combined in large quantity the $1.1 trillion Asian Development Bank’s world oil reserve report.
The EIA also said the world’s “core strategic reserve” amount of around 6.6 million barrels per day, about half of those held by India, was now mostly owned by U.S. oil companies.