Oil is used to fuel daily lives – it is used to move people, power weapons, bring supplies, build structures, and light up homes. Even today, in the advent of sustainable energy production, oil remains the most usable, accessible, and important energy source in the world. Naturally, it is one of the biggest and most important products exported and imported all around the world. In 2013, the world produced 87,918,600 barrels of oil per day. So where does the world’s oil come from? Who are the biggest players in this multi-million industry? Here is the list of the top 10 oil producing countries in the world in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:
No. 1: Saudi Arabia
Topping the list of the world’s largest oil producing countries is Saudi Arabia, producing 11.5 million barrels of oil per day. This, of course, is no surprise because the country holds almost a fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves. Economic growth has resulted in an increase in domestic consumption, and Saudi is currently the largest oil-consumer in the Middle East. Ninety percent of its export revenues come from oil- they are currently the second largest exporter to the United States, following Canada. Japan, South Korea, India and China are also among its largest customers.
No. 2: The United States of America
The increased production of shale oil which began in 2009 subverted the declining trend of oil production in the United States. The last five years saw the consistent and significant increase in barrels produced per year. In 2013, the country produced 11.2 million barrels of oil per day, and exported to other regions in the Americas and Canada. However, the country still needs to import from other oil producing countries, as their demands greatly exceed their production. Data from 2012 show that they produce about 12.4 percent of the world’s oil supply, but accounts for 20.7 percent of the world’s total consumption.
No. 3: Russia
Russia holds the largest natural gas reserves in the world, and still ranks third among the major oil producing countries, behind the United States and Saudi Arabia. It produced 10.4 million barrels per day in 2013. The country’s economy is largely dependent on oil and energy revenues, with elevated local prices of these commodities, and importations across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Aside from oil and natural gas, Russia also has sizeable coal reserves and is the sixth largest coal producer worldwide.
No 4: China
With the world’s largest population and a rapidly growing economy, China has become the second-largest oil consumer in the world. High increases in the number of privately owned cars, strengthening of military assets, as well as a construction boom have contributed to the increase in the country’s consumption. But they are also the world’s fourth largest oil producer. The country’s oil production increased by 54% in the last two decades, and produced 4.2 million barrels of oil per day in 2013. Currently, China is the world’s second-largest importer of oil and is projected to surpass the United States by the end of 2014.
No. 5: Canada
The fifth largest oil producer in the world, Canada produced 4 million barrels per day in 2013. Among the world’s oil producing countries, it is the largest exporter of oil and energy to the United States. Canada also holds the third largest amount of proven reserves in the world. Political and economical considerations, however, are leading Canada to diversify its market and develop stronger ties in Asia.
No. 6: Iran
Producing 3.4 million barrels per day, just a little above Iraq, Iran ranked sixth in 2013. The country’s energy sector has been greatly affected by international sanctions imposed in 2011 and 2012, cancelling upstream projects which resulted in production decline and impeded imports of refined products. The country, however, has the fourth largest proven crude oil reserves and the second largest natural gas reserves in the world.
No. 7: Iraq
Iraq ranks fifth in the countries with the largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. It is seventh among the world’s oil producing countries, despite large untapped and undeveloped oil reserves. The country produced 3 million barrels per day in 2013. In 2010, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil made plans to increase oil production to 12 million barrels per day in 2017. However, these contracts are being re-negotiated to more modest numbers, changing the target to nine million barrels per day.
No. 8: Mexico
Next on the list is Mexico, the third largest producer in the Americas, after Canada and the United States. Producing 2.9 million barrels per day in 2013, the oil sector contributed 13 percent of the country’s export earnings. Production, however, has been declining for years. To address this decline, the Mexican government enacted reforms that ended PEMEX’s monopoly on the oil and gas sector in December 2013, opening up to more foreign investments.
No. 9: Brazil
With the United States of America and China as its biggest customers in 2012, Brazil ranks ninth in the list of the world’s top oil producing countries. In 2013, the country produced 2.6 million barrels per day. Brazilian oil is produced in Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo states, offshore in very deep waters. Recent discoveries of pre-salt reserves changed the focus of the oil sector in Brazil, and large investments are being put into the exploration of these rich, untapped pre-salt oil reserves.
Nigeria produced an average of 2.4 million barrels per day in 2013. With the largest oil reserves in Africa, its economy is mostly held up by its oil exports. Most of the country’s oil reserves and facilities are located in the Niger Delta, where there is a lot of conflict. Kidnapping, vandalism, theft and bunkering threaten companies and force them to declare force majeure on shipments. Despite this, the country remains the biggest oil producer in Africa, and the tenth major oil producing country in the world.