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Crisis in the Middle East and Oil Prices

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Crisis in the Middle East and Oil Prices

Crisis in the Middle East & Oil Prices

Unfortunately, unrest in the Middle East has virtually become commonplace. This unrest is echoed throughout the world through economic impact. More specifically, when the world’s highest oil producing region is in turmoil, prices are affected across the world.

Currently, the world is in disarray due to conflicts spread across the Middle East and the rest of the globe. A civil war is looming in Iraq between two religious groups. Rival Libyan militias are battling for control over the nation. Up north, Russia (the highest producer of oil last year) is battling Ukraine and the rest of the western world. All this while airplanes are falling from the sky, school girls are kidnapped in Nigeria, and Israel and Hamas are continuing a bloody war.

Not a very optimistic outlook.

All of these factors are affecting the price of liquid gold. According to a report by Ernst & Young, second quarter oil prices were up, primarily due to geopolitical risk in the Middle East and North Africa.

However, there is a saving grace. America’s southern states are reaping the rewards of an oil boom and are mitigating the global crisis. Last year, the US began to produce more oil than it imported, something that has not been accomplished in nearly twenty years.

Extraction innovation seen in shale oil has caused rejuvenation for the Permian Basin region, located in western Texas and Southeastern New Mexico. The introduction of shale oil technology allows oil production companies to access resources they previously were unable to.

 

Original infographic from: Saxo Markets UK

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Uranium

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium reserves by country, with 3 countries accounting for more than half of total reserves.

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A cropped chart visualizing the distribution of the global uranium reserves, by country.

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

There can be a tendency to believe that uranium deposits are scarce from the critical role it plays in generating nuclear energy, along with all the costs and consequences related to the field.

But uranium is actually fairly plentiful: it’s more abundant than gold and silver, for example, and about as present as tin in the Earth’s crust.

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium resources by country, as of 2021. Figures come from the World Nuclear Association, last updated on August 2023.

Ranked: Uranium Reserves By Country (2021)

Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada have the largest shares of available uranium resources—accounting for more than 50% of total global reserves.

But within these three, Australia is the clear standout, with more than 1.7 million tonnes of uranium discovered (28% of the world’s reserves) currently. Its Olympic Dam mine, located about 600 kilometers north of Adelaide, is the the largest single deposit of uranium in the world—and also, interestingly, the fourth largest copper deposit.

Despite this, Australia is only the fourth biggest uranium producer currently, and ranks fifth for all-time uranium production.

CountryShare of Global
Reserves
Uranium Reserves (Tonnes)
🇦🇺 Australia28%1.7M
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan13%815K
🇨🇦 Canada10%589K
🇷🇺 Russia8%481K
🇳🇦 Namibia8%470K
🇿🇦 South Africa5%321K
🇧🇷 Brazil5%311K
🇳🇪 Niger5%277K
🇨🇳 China4%224K
🇲🇳 Mongolia2%145K
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan2%131K
🇺🇦 Ukraine2%107K
🌍 Rest of World9%524K
Total100%6M

Figures are rounded.

Outside the top three, Russia and Namibia both have roughly the same amount of uranium reserves: about 8% each, which works out to roughly 470,000 tonnes.

South Africa, Brazil, and Niger all have 5% each of the world’s total deposits as well.

China completes the top 10, with a 3% share of uranium reserves, or about 224,000 tonnes.

A caveat to this is that current data is based on known uranium reserves that are capable of being mined economically. The total amount of the world’s uranium is not known exactly—and new deposits can be found all the time. In fact the world’s known uranium reserves increased by about 25% in the last decade alone, thanks to better technology that improves exploration efforts.

Meanwhile, not all uranium deposits are equal. For example, in the aforementioned Olympic Dam, uranium is recovered as a byproduct of copper mining occurring at the same site. In South Africa, it emerges as a byproduct during treatment of ores in the gold mining process. Orebodies with high concentrations of two substances can increase margins, as costs can be shared for two different products.

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