Oil has been one of the most massively produced, consumed, and traded commodity for many years. It has been like oxygen in the lifeblood of the world economy, accounting for more than one third of the global energy supply and directly responsible for about 2.5-7% of the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Oil (plus natural gas) powers over 99.85% of all the transportation in the world.
It is not only the biggest source of power generation, but also the other sources are far behind oil and it would take decades or perhaps even centuries to bring them to the level where oil is now. Oil production and consumption have been influential factors in the rise or fall of many nations and directly influence factors like quality of life, per capita income, and rate of economic growth.
If it weren’t for CO2 emissions and the devastating effects of global warming, Oil would have been the best energy source available.
Here are the largest oil producers in the world as of 2015.
Average Production in 2015 – 2.8 million barrels a day
Mexico has produced an average of 3.2 million barrels a day for the last 12-15 years. However, annual production has decreased or has failed to increase every year since 2003-04. Mexico has the fourth largest oil reserves in the western hemisphere. Three grades of crude oil are found in Mexico and a few oil fields have been discovered recently but the recovery remains slow due to challenging, slow recovery reservoirs. Oil revenues still play a crucial role in Mexico’s export earnings and high tax on the oil monopoly form about a third of taxes collected by the government. Mexico is not a member of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).
Brazil’s oil production has almost doubled in the last 10 years, averaging out to 2.3 million barrels a day. It has a number of offshore oil fields which have a substantially large amount of light oil and eliminate the need to import light oil from the Middle East. Brazil’s oil monopoly belonged to Petrobras in the 20th century, but more than 50 oil companies are involved in recovery and exploration. Brazil also has a 6,000 km long system of crude oil pipelines and import terminals.
Average Production in 2015- 3.364 million barrels a day
Iraq has seen an incredible increase in oil production from 1.5 million barrels a day in 2006 to 3.3-3.4 million barrels a day in 2015. Geologists and researchers suggest that the major oil fields in Iraq can contain anything from 50 to 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil. A cluster of super-giant oil fields in southern Iraq are the largest concentration of such fields known to us. Iraq has plans to expand their recovery mechanisms in most fields to expand their production to 10 million barrels a day by 2020.
Average Production in 2015- 3.402 million barrels a day
Oil production in Iran has drastically fallen over the past decade with decline rates of 8-9% observed in a few years. Oil production has severely been affected by the U.S trade embargo on Iran. Even though Iran has been under heavy sanctions, several economies depend on exports from Iran. Opening Iran’s market to foreign investment from superpowers can lead to a 10 percent decrease in the global petroleum price. Despite all the sanctions and economic troubles, Iran has signed treaties with a number of nations and has foreign projects lined up which can generate up to $ 300 billion in revenue.
- United Arab Emirates (U.A.E)
Crude oil production in the U.A.E has averaged 2.1 million barrels a day since 1973. Productions have fluctuated between 3 and 3.4 million barrels a day in the past decade. According to the UAE government, the country’s oil reserves add up to about a 100 billion barrels which can last for another 100 years. The government also has discussed the possibility of increasing production to about 5 million barrels a day.
Average Production in 2015- 4.38 million barrels a day
Oil production in Canada has seen a steady rise over the years and has averaged 3.5 – 3.6 million barrels a day in the 21st century. Petroleum production has been a major industry in Canada for a while and most of the oil produced is exported. The conventional oil production peaked in the 70’s but oil sands production is expected to peak in the next 8-10 years. Over 70,000 thousand wells have been drilled or spudded since 2005 and over a 100 new are drilled every day in the Alberta province alone.
The dragon has been on the rise in the field of oil production, with production achieving new peaks every year. When oil fields were discovered in China after 1950, it almost eliminated the need to import crude oil for a while, but with the increasing population, the internal demand could not be met by domestic production and China has been a net oil importer since 1993. Even though China is the second largest oil consumer and importer, it is the world’s fourth largest producer and has constantly been taking steps to maintain this position. To reduce foreign dependence China has started taking measures keeping their domestic reserves in mind. These range from plans to control population to national reserve bases and research centers. It has also independently developed drilling platforms in the South China Sea.
Average Production in 2015- 10.84 million barrels a day
Russia has the largest fuel reserves in the world and one of the largest producers by a big margin. It has a 12-13 % share in global oil exports. Russia has averaged a staggering 10 million barrels a day in the last decade and even with growing local demand, exports have increased over time. Studies suggest that Russia may still have a lot of undiscovered oil and natural gas reserves. Russia is also the world’s largest natural gas producer and exporter.
- Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia had the largest known oil reserves, an estimated 270 billion barrels, until Venezuela announced that it had more proven reserves in 2010-11. With oil mostly available in a few giant fields, more than 95 % of the oil is obtained from just eight major fields. Diplomatic leaks have suggested that Saudi Arabia may have 30 % less reserves than studies suggest but the state maintains its position on the current value published.
- United States of America
Average Production in 2015- 14 million barrels a day
The United States has recently overtaken Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil. US oil production has seen a substantial amount of fluctuation in the recent years and took a major hit during the great depression of 2008. However, production has increased impressively after 2008 and has the potential to achieve new peaks soon. Most of the reserves are concentrated along the coasts of the southern states of Texas and Louisiana. On an average, 25,000 wells are drilled each year in search of oil and gas. The U.S plans to reduce its oil imports to less than 25 % from the current level of 40 %. Extensive research is also in progress to develop more efficient drilling techniques.
This is our list of world’s top 10 oil producers in the world. Did we just add to your GK?