Oil is one of the most valuable and widely used commodities in the world. It fuels transportation, industry, and electricity generation, and provides raw materials for many products. Knowing which countries produce the most oil can help you understand the global energy market and the geopolitical dynamics that shape it.
Top 10 Most Oil Producing Countries in 2024
In this article, we will rank the top 10 oil producing countries in 2024 based on the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). We will also discuss the factors that affect oil production, such as reserves, technology, demand, and prices. Finally, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about oil production and consumption.
What is Oil Production?
Oil production is the process of extracting crude oil from the ground and filtering it for impurities. Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons of natural origin, typically derived from decayed prehistoric plant matter. Its physical properties can vary widely, ranging from yellow to black in color and displaying a broad range of densities and viscosities.
The largest share of crude oil is used to make gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, and heating oils, which are essential for transportation and heating. Heavier oil products are used to make asphalt for roads and lubricating oils such as petroleum jelly for soaps and detergents.
Oil production is measured in barrels per day (bpd), where one barrel equals 42 gallons or 159 liters. The EIA publishes monthly and annual data on oil production for all countries in the world, as well as projections for future years.
Top 10 Oil Producing Countries in World
According to the EIA, the top 10 oil producing countries in 2024 are expected to be:
|Oil Production (bpd)
|United Arab Emirates
These 10 countries account for about 69% of the total global oil production, which is estimated to be 80.6 million bpd in 2024. The remaining 31% is produced by more than 100 other countries, with the largest ones being Kazakhstan, Norway, Mexico, Qatar, Nigeria, Libya, Angola, Oman, Algeria, and Venezuela.
The ranking of the top 10 oil producing countries has changed slightly over the years, as some countries have increased or decreased their output due to various factors. For example, the United States surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer in 2018, thanks to the shale oil boom that boosted its production from unconventional sources. However, its production declined in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices, and is expected to recover gradually in the following years.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have been competing for the second and third spots, depending on their production policies and market conditions. Both countries are members of the OPEC+ alliance, which is a group of 23 oil producing countries that coordinate their production levels to balance the supply and demand of oil and stabilize the prices. OPEC+ has agreed to cut its production by 9.7 million bpd in 2020 and gradually ease the cuts until 2022, in response to the sharp drop in oil demand caused by the pandemic.
Canada and Iraq have been steadily increasing their production in recent years, mainly from their vast oil sands and conventional oil fields, respectively. China and Brazil have also boosted their production from offshore deepwater and pre-salt reservoirs, using advanced technology and foreign investment. The UAE, Iran, and Kuwait have maintained their production levels, despite facing some challenges such as sanctions, conflicts, and environmental issues.
Factors Affecting Oil Production
Oil production is influenced by many factors, both natural and human-made. Some of the main factors are:
- Reserves: The amount of oil that can be technically and economically recovered from the ground. Reserves are classified into proven, probable, and possible, depending on the degree of certainty and feasibility. Reserves can change over time due to new discoveries, improved technology, revised estimates, and production. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, the world’s proven oil reserves at the end of 2019 were 1,729.7 billion barrels, enough to last for about 50 years at the current production rate.
- Technology: The methods and equipment used to explore, drill, extract, transport, and refine oil. Technology can improve the efficiency, safety, and profitability of oil production, as well as enable the development of new and unconventional sources, such as shale oil, tight oil, heavy oil, oil sands, and deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil. Technology can also reduce the environmental impact of oil production, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and waste generation.
- Demand: The amount of oil that is consumed by various sectors and regions of the world. Demand is driven by factors such as population, income, urbanization, industrialization, transportation, and electricity generation. Demand can also be affected by seasonal variations, weather conditions, consumer preferences, and government policies. According to the EIA, the world’s oil demand in 2024 is projected to be 101.1 million bpd, a 6.4% increase from 2020, when the demand dropped to 95 million bpd due to the pandemic.
- Prices: The amount of money that buyers and sellers exchange for a barrel of oil. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand in the global oil market, as well as by other factors such as geopolitics, speculation, taxes, and subsidies. Prices can influence the production decisions of oil producers, as well as the consumption behavior of oil consumers. According to the EIA, the average price of Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, in 2024 is forecasted to be $53.2 per barrel, a 16.8% increase from 2020, when the price averaged $45.6 per barrel.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oil Production
Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about oil production and consumption:
- Which country has the largest oil reserves? According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, with 303.3 billion barrels, followed by Saudi Arabia with 298.7 billion barrels, and Canada with 167.8 billion barrels. However, not all of these reserves are equally accessible and profitable, as they differ in quality, location, and extraction costs.
- Which country consumes the most oil? According to the EIA, China is the world’s largest oil consumer, with 14.5 million bpd in 2020, followed by the United States with 18.1 million bpd, and India with 4.8 million bpd. These three countries account for about 40% of the total global oil consumption, which was 95 million bpd in 2020.
- Which country exports the most oil? According to the EIA, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, with 7.4 million bpd in 2020, followed by Russia with 5.6 million bpd, and Iraq with 3.8 million bpd. These three countries account for about 40% of the total global oil exports, which were 45.1 million bpd in 2020.
- Which country imports the most oil? According to the EIA, China is the world’s largest oil importer, with 10.9 million bpd in 2020, followed by the United States with 9.1 million bpd, and India with 4.5 million bpd. These three countries account for about 54% of the total global oil imports, which were 45.6 million bpd in 2020.
- How much oil is left in the world? There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on how you define and measure oil. If you use the conventional definition of proven reserves, which are the oil resources that can be recovered with current technology and economic conditions, then the world has about 50 years of oil left at the current production rate. However, this does not account for the potential of undiscovered oil, unconventional oil, and improved technology and economics, which could extend the oil supply for much longer. On the other hand, if you consider the environmental and social impacts of oil production and consumption, such as climate change, pollution, and conflicts, then the world may have to limit or reduce its oil use before it runs out.
Oil is a vital and versatile resource that powers the world’s economy and society. Knowing which countries produce the most oil can help you understand the global energy landscape and the opportunities and challenges that it presents. In this article, we have ranked the top 10 oil producing countries in 2024 based on the latest data from the EIA, and discussed the factors that affect oil production, such as reserves, technology, demand, and prices. We have also answered some of the most frequently asked questions about oil production and consumption. We hope you have found this article informative and useful for your blog. If you have any questions or comments,