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What Does 184 Million Gallons of Oil Look Like?

Image: Paul Alvord for CNBC.com

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Comparison To Proven Reserves

How much oil was spilled in comparison to the oil that's still out there? Although the unprecedented amount of oil leaked in the gulf is a tragic disaster, it turns out that when compared to the world's proven reserves, the amount is negligible.

According to the US government, the world's proven reserves are estimated to be around 1.36 trillion barrels, making the BP oil spill almost invisible by comparison, accounting for only .000322% of the world's remaining known oil. The BP spill would have to occur about 310,431 more times to deplete all of the world's reserves.

Compared to the reserves of the world's most oil-rich country, Saudi Arabia, as well as the reserves of the US, the BP spill still remains tiny, and would represent only .001670% of Saudi Arabia's reserves and .0209% of the remaining known reserves in the United States. The spill would have to occur 4,793 more times to deplete the remainder of America's untapped oil.

Image: Paul Alvord for CNBC.com