Certain key elements have to be taken into account in estimating the world's endowment of conventional oil. The references should be consulted for a discussion on how these elements are defined, which is particularly important in connection with reserves. Here, it will be sufficient to illustrate them graphically, considering the world's regions and the fifteen most amply endowed countries. The numbers are taken from Campbell (1996), except were indicated otherwise and are quoted in billion barrels (Gb). In all cases they refer to conventional oil only as of the end of 1995. Although quoted as exact numbers as computed, they should of course be generously rounded. The regions for this purpose are defined as follows:

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