The British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy June 2003 puts world year end 2002 proven oil reserves at 1,047.7 billion barrels. In contrast, BP 2004 [1] puts year end 2003 world proven reserves at 1,147.7 billion barrels, a jump of exactly 100 billion barrels (9.5%).

Looking further: On the BP web site,, they show the jump from 2002 to 2003 as only 0.1%. So what happened? Well it appears that BP cooked the books all the way back to 1980 to give the appearance that only a small increase of proven reserves occurred at year end, 2003.

Perhaps BP is trying to give readers the impression that the world’s proven reserves have been growing steadily all along “nothing suspicious here.”

In other words: An increase of 1.4 billion barrels (0.1%) in one year is not nearly as suspicious as an jump of exactly 100 billion barrels (9.5%) in a single year.