In this article, we will take a look at 15 countries that produce the most oil in the world. If you want to see more countries that produce the most oil in the world, go directly to 5 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World.
Crude oil, also known as oil in some contexts, is essential for a modern economy. With crude oil, economies can produce petroleum products that power gasoline vehicles and generate electricity. Economies can also use petroleum as feedstock to make products such as plastics, polyurethane, and many other intermediate and end-user goods.
In the United States for 2021, the transportation sector used up 67% of the total crude oil consumed, the industrial sector used up 27%, and the residential, commercial, and electric power sector used up 6%.
Given it is essential for a modern economy, the world makes a lot of crude oil.
According to BP, the total oil production in the world was 89.88 million barrels per day in 2021, up from 88.49 million barrels per day in 2020 but lower than the oil production of 94.92 million barrels per day in 2019.
In addition, the world also produced 12.05 million barrels per day of natural gas liquids in 2021, up from 11.70 million barrels per day in 2020 but down from 11.79 million barrels per day in 2019.
In 2021, global oil production increased by 1.4 million barrels per day with OPEC+ countries accounting for over three fourths of the rise. OPEC is an organization of some of the world's major oil exporting countries and OPEC+ is the same organization in addition to countries like Russia.
One reason for the increase in production was that oil prices averaged $70.91 per barrel in 2021, with the price being one of the highest averages for a year since 2015.
Despite the increase from 2020, however, oil consumption in 2021 was still 3.7 million barrels per day below 2019 levels. According to BP, aviation related oil demand was 2.5 million barrels per day lower in 2021 than in 2019 as fewer people flew last year given the pandemic.
Given that air travel has recovered further in 2022, it is likely that oil production in 2022 will be higher than it was in 2021. According to the International Air Transport Association, passenger traffic was 74% of pre-pandemic levels in September of 2022, a rise of 57% year over year. In October, OPEC also forecasted that oil demand to increase 2.64 million bpd in 2022 and another 2.34 million bpd in 2023.
Furthermore, oil prices have increased due to the economic recovery from the pandemic and the Russia Ukraine war. According to a survey of economists and analysts, Brent crude could average $100.5 per barrel this year according to Reuters in November 30. According to the EIA in the beginning of December, the WTI spot average could average $95.22 per barrel in 2022 as well.
With the higher prices, oil producing nations have incentive to produce more. If total oil production in the world is higher, it is likely that some of the leading nations in OPEC have increased their oil production this year. In terms of the United States, the EIA believes that U.S. oil production will average 11.7 million barrels per day in 2022 versus 11.25 million barrels per day in 2021.
Given the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates substantially this year, however, economic growth could slow next year and oil demand might not be as strong as expected in 2023. Indeed, OPEC+ cut oil production in October although it decided against cutting production further in December.
For our list of 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World, we took the top 15 countries by oil production in 2021 according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2022.
According to BP, "Oil production data includes crude oil, shale oil, oil sands, condensates (lease condensate or gas condensates that require further refining) and NGLs (natural gas liquids – ethane, LPG and naphtha separated from the production of natural gas). Excludes liquid fuels from other sources such as biofuels and synthetic derivatives of coal and natural gas. This also excludes liquid fuel adjustment factors such as refinery processing gain. Excludes oil shales/kerogen extracted in solid form."
For those of you interested, check out Top 20 Oil Producing Countries in 2022.
15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 1.63
Nigeria ranks #15 on our list of 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World given it produced 1.63 million barrels of oil in 2021. Oil was first discovered in the African country in 1956 and Nigeria joined OPEC in 1971. In terms of potential, Nigeria has proven crude oil reserves of over 37 billion barrels and proven natural gas reserves of 5.85 trillion cubic meters. The country is also a big exporter of oil, exporting nearly 1.6 million barrels per day in 2021.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 1.75
Qatar is one of the top oil producers in the world with oil production of 1.75 million barrels per day in 2021. The country is also a major producer of natural gas given it has the third largest known reserves of natural gas in the world with existing reserves of around 24.7 trillion cubic meters. With its oil and gas production, hydrocarbon revenue accounted for 37% of the country's GDP.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 1.81
Kazakhstan has proved crude oil reserves of 30 billion barrels, ranking 2nd in Eurasia only after Russia. The country also has proved gas reserves of 3 trillion cubic meters and projected reserves of 5 trillion cubic meters. As a result of its substantial resources, Kazakhstan produced 1.81 million barrels of oil in 2021.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 1.93
Mexico ranks #12 on our list of 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World with 2021 oil production of 1.93 million barrels per day. Given its proximity to the United States, Mexico exported 212 million barrels to the U.S. in 2021 but imported 1.6 million barrels per day of refined petroleum products as the country's refining sector is less developed than the American refining sector.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 2.02
Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world by GDP per capita thanks to its oil wealth. In 2021, Norway's GDP per capita was $89,202.75 versus Sweden's $60,238.99 thanks in part due to the country's oil production of 2.02 million barrels per day. Almost all the oil and gas produced on the Norwegian shelf is exported, giving the government strong trade surpluses in recent decades.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 2.74
Kuwait's oil production has increased from slightly under 2 million barrels per day in 2000 to 2.74 million barrels per day in 2021. For the future, the country plans on increasing its oil production capacity with a goal of 4.75 million barrels per day by 2040. Furthermore, the country has a goal to increase natural gas production to 4 billion cubic feet per day by 2030. Kuwait ranks #10 on our list of 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 2.99
Brazil has substantial potential in oil given the country has the largest recoverable ultra-deep oil reserves in the world. Given its potential and existing projects, Brazil is the largest oil producer in South America and the ninth largest in the world with oil production of 2.99 million barrels per day. With more oil projects coming online over the years, Brazil's oil production has trended higher over the past two decades. While Brazil's oil production was around 1.5 million barrels per day in 2005, it was nearly 3 million barrels per day around 2019. For the future, Brazil's oil production is expected to rise to 5.2 million barrels per day in 2040 according to the IEA.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 3.62
Iran ranks as the world's third largest oil reserve holder and its second largest natural gas reserve holder. Given under investment and sanctions, however, Iran has not achieved its full potential. Nevertheless, Iran still ranks #8 on our list of 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World with oil production of 3.62 million barrels per day in 2021. If sanctions are lifted on the country, Iran's oil production could increase and the country could move up on our list of 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World.
7. United Arab Emirates
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 3.67
The United Arab Emirates is a major oil producing nation with oil production of 3.67 million barrels per day in 2021. In addition to having around 100 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the United Arab Emirates has the seventh largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world with reserves of 215 trillion cubic feet.
2021 Oil Production (million barrels per day): 3.99
China produced 3.99 million barrels per day in 2021, up 2.7% year over year but still below the average amount the country produced in 2015 when it averaged over 4.3 million barrels per day. In the same year, China's natural gas production was 207.58 billion cubic meters, an increase of 15 billion cubic meters.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Countries That Produce the Most Oil in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.